Insurers deny Premier’s Patients 1st claim

  • John Wight, BF&M chairman and CEO

    John Wight, BF&M chairman and CEO

Three health insurers have confirmed that they had no involvement with Patients 1st movement.

They were responding to claims by David Burt, the Premier, that insurers were running the group. Patients 1st has raised concerns over the impact of government healthcare financing reforms.

In the House of Assembly last Friday, Mr Burt took a swipe at Patients 1st, saying: “How is it possible that we have had an organisation that has existed for three months and nobody knows who is running it?”

He added: “It’s being run by the insurance companies. And they are not going to show their faces, because they are trying to protect their profits.”

Patients 1st described Mr Burt’s statement as “absolutely untrue” and added that it had never received funding from any insurer, nor had there been any involvement from any insurance company representatives.

The Royal Gazette reached out to health insurers for comment.

John Wight, chairman and chief executive officer of BF&M, responded: “As is indicated in the Patients 1st statement, BF&M denies any involvement with Patients 1st.

“However, much like Patients 1st, we are acutely concerned about the potential impact of healthcare funding reform for our customers and the broader community.

“In that regard, we are proud of the fact that we took an industry lead to educate our policyholders about such a complex and critical issue.

“We will continue to engage with the Government and with our customers, providing valuable input to the discussion.”

A spokesperson for Argus said: “As Bermuda’s healthcare environment evolves, Argus remains committed to helping to drive down health costs while maintaining access to quality care through working with the Government and other stakeholders. However, Argus has no involvement with Patients 1st.”

Naz Farrow, the CEO of Colonial Group International, said: “Like many people in the community, we are extremely concerned about the possible impact of Government’s health care reform on the community, however it is wrong to suggest that we are involved in running Patients 1st.

She added: “We continue to be happy to engage with the Government over their proposals.”

A meeting held by Patients 1st in Queen Elizabeth II Park on February 7 attracted hundreds of people, who heard speakers express concerns that the Government’s plans would limit healthcare choices for patients.

Since then, government backbencher Jason Hayward, as well as Mr Burt, have each attacked the group, labelling it “Profits First”.

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Published Feb 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 18, 2020 at 10:27 am)

Insurers deny Premier’s Patients 1st claim

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