Wilson defends healthcare consultation

  • Happy with the response: Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph)

    Happy with the response: Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph)

Claims that proposed healthcare reforms have been rushed are wrong, Bermuda’s health minister said.

Kim Wilson said that it was “wholly inaccurate to suggest” that the Bermuda Health Plan had been hurried.

She added: “The purpose of this discussion period is precisely to hear from all voices in the community, so I’m delighted with the interest to date.

“The feedback we are hearing, will inform the next stage of the process, when working groups are set up to digest the public input and make recommendations on how we should proceed. We welcome the views and perspectives expressed by all.”

Ms Wilson announced in August that the Bermuda Health Plan 2020 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.

Ms Wilson said that implementation of the plan would take place “over three to five years”.

Ms Wilson added: “Any changes in fall 2020 will not bring wholesale reforms. Rather, it will be the first steps towards adding more preventive health services for patients.”

Ms Wilson said: “I take heart that a majority of people who speak to me and my team do so in support of the goals of this reform, and understand that public consultation is about dialogue. It is unfortunate that in today’s day and age misinformation is causing confusion and fear.

Ms Wilson concluded: I hope that common sense will prevail and the facts will speak for themselves.”

A spokeswoman for the health ministry said that Ms Wilson was “grateful” for the interest of the public in the proposed reforms and “pleased with the engagement and questions” that had been submitted at healthplan@gov.bm.

She added: “This inbox allows for clarification of many questions the public has.”

The spokeswoman said that all answered questions were posted on the Government’s website at www.gov.bm/health-plan-consultation-qa.

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Published Dec 3, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 7:59 am)

Wilson defends healthcare consultation

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