Warning signs abound for healthcare system

  • Growing workload: Bermuda's healthcare system will come under increasing strain with the ageing of our population

    Growing workload: Bermuda's healthcare system will come under increasing strain with the ageing of our population


Dear Sir,

Responding to the latest initiative from the Bermuda Health Council, indicating a “push towards a value-based healthcare system” from the existing volume-based system, it would seem a move in the right direction. But Bermuda’s healthcare system needs more than just a dent before it all comes tumbling down — and soon!

No government over the past two decades has seen this elephant in the room; and if they saw it, they chose not to acknowledge or address it — at least not close to adequately.

There is a not so tiny group of people called baby-boomers, classified as such for being born roughly between 1946 and 1964, a period of heightened birthrates in most of the Western world — if not the world over.

Bermuda’s quickly declining birthrate, coupled with our rapidly ageing population, is creating an inverse triangle effect.

With the triangle standing upright, the many working citizens supported the few retirees. But the triangle base is thinning out — as clearly represented in the Government’s recently released 2018 Digest of Statistics, page 36 — meaning there are now fewer workers to support the growing number of retirees.

We have been trending towards this top-heavy dilemma for decades, and no one had the foresight, or perhaps fortitude, to prepare for it.

It is only now that we’re close enough to the cliff’s edge to see how far the drop is that we wish to take action to avoid falling over. Now we wish to react as if some rogue wave has manifested itself.

Well, I hope there are enough life vests on board.

In another 11 years, every single baby-boomer will be 65 and older. And I think it’s fair to say an uptick in Bermuda’s birthrate is unlikely. So, with this top-heavy inevitability bearing down on us, our healthcare system seems destined to topple like a deck of cards on a windy day.

So, first, it would behove us as individuals to make healthier dietary and lifestyle choices.

Second, the Government, healthcare providers and insurance companies need to become selfless and leave their egos at the door. I believe 31 boards are more than ample.

What we are seeing and experiencing now is a gentle breeze compared with the storm that is approaching.

There’s a hurricane on the horizon that can no longer be ignored. Is Bermuda ready?

ANTHONY LEE

Sandys

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Published Feb 16, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm)

Warning signs abound for healthcare system

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