A different take on doctors’ bedside manner

  • Kim Wilson on healthcare reform (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Kim Wilson on healthcare reform (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Anthony Richardson

    Anthony Richardson

Some doctors in Bermuda are seemingly angry at the Government’s ongoing consultation on prospective health reforms.

I attended the health plan town hall in St George’s last Thursday and was shocked at what I heard and saw from some doctors.

They attended en masse, without declaring their presence; booed and heckled when health minister Kim Wilson and her team attempted to answer questions from the public; then cheered and clapped in unison when one GP said the following: “If they can’t make as much money as they do today, they will all leave the country!”

I, like many others, sat there utterly shocked.

In my words, they are prepared to hold Bermudians for ransom. I thought they were here for the patients and not the money.

What shocked me further was their unwillingness to listen.

The minister and her team must have said half a dozen times that “the consultation is ongoing with a range of stakeholders, including doctors, and that how their services are included and paid for has not been decided as yet”.

However, they insisted on speaking and behaving as if it was all a “done deal” and there was nothing more to discuss. They refused to accept facts regarding existing health insurance laws and published data on insured headcounts.

Some acted unwilling or incapable of listening.

It is truly sad to see this side of doctors.

Thankfully, we know that not all doctors are like that, as it is only the vocal angry ones whose greed and self-interest drives them to put profit before patients, and to favour fiction over facts.

We know there are plenty of good doctors who don’t share this perspective. They have patient health at the forefront of their minds

I trust that the general public and other doctors will be fully engaged in the consultation process with the minister and her team. Let us all be constructive with our input.

We remain hopeful that the general public will not be deterred based on the myopic comments expressed by the physicians at the meeting.

Anthony Richardson is a government senator

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Published Oct 28, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 28, 2019 at 7:26 am)

A different take on doctors’ bedside manner

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