Age Concern to host forum on Health Plan
An event focusing on proposed healthcare reforms will be held tomorrow, the executive director of Age Concern has said.
Claudette Fleming said that the charity had organised the event to help provide information on the Bermuda Health Plan to older island residents and caregivers.
She added: “We felt the need to conduct the forum because we are fielding questions and making observations that people do not really understand what the BHP proposal process is about.”
Dr Fleming said that the organisation also wanted clarity on how its members felt about the proposed changes to help determine if the Age Concern would take an official view of the plan.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, will make a presentation at the event. A panel discussion and a question and answer period will follow.
Panellists include Henry Dowling, the president of the Bermuda Medical Doctors Association, Ricky Brathwaite, the acting chief executive officer of the Bermuda Health Council, Leon Bascome, the chief executive of the MoonGate Group, and nurse Anita Furbert.
Charles Jeffers, the honorary director of Age Concern, will moderate.
Dr Fleming said: “The forum represents an ideal opportunity for our members and interested members of the public to listen to the minister speak directly on the matter, while also gathering insight on the views of other healthcare industry leaders in order to formulate an informed perspective.”
She added that Age Concern had received questions about the impact of the BHP on FutureCare, the cost of the plan to patients, and whether physician fees would be regulated.
Dr Fleming said: “We look forward to receiving insight into these important matters and encourage as many persons as possible to attend.”
Ms Wilson announced in August that the BHP was to replace the Standard Health Benefit coverage for all island residents.
The level of coverage that will be provided and who will administer the scheme have yet to be announced.
Ms Wilson said there would be a four-month consultation period on what the plan should include and costs. The public consultation period ends this month.
Three town hall meetings organised by the Government have been held to discuss the proposed changes. Pressure group Patients First also held a meeting last month.
The group has urged people opposed to the proposed reforms to sign an online petition.
The petition, on Change.org, has more than 6,000 signatures. A “soft launch” of the new plan is expected next autumn.
The Age Concern event will be held at the Salvation Army Citadel, on North Street, in Hamilton, starting at 5.30pm.
• People interested in attending are asked to register in advance by calling 238-7525 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is open to both Age Concern members and non-members. Non-members are asked to provide a minimum donation of $5
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