Supporters rally behind Brown in scanning row
A packed hall of supporters has vowed to stand behind Ewart Brown, the former premier, the day after his Brown-Darrell clinic closed the doors on its CT medical scanning service.
The computerised X-ray scanning service at the Smith's facility was closed on Wednesday, after fee cuts regulated by the Ministry of Health reduced its diagnostic imaging charges by up to 87 per cent.
Dr Brown told a crowd last night at St Paul AME Centennial Hall that since 2013 there had been a push to close down his business.
“The perfect storm came together under the One Bermuda Alliance government,” he said.
The clinic head said he had told the council that the best way to reduce the island's healthcare costs would be to “cut everybody by 10 per cent, right across the board, one time, and save $70 million”.
He added: “But if your objectives are different, then you will do something else.”
Dr Brown said that cost reductions were so steep that the CT unit would have been impossible to keep running.
Electricity alone for the MRI and CT units at his two clinics topped $20,000 a month, he said.
Shutting down the CT unit had been “emotional for us”, he said, but he had vowed to keep the Brown-Darrell clinic, which is named after his parents, open for business.
Several of those who spoke at the forum said that the lives of their loved ones had been saved through the high-tech care offered.
One man, who said he had developed serious neurological complaints that doctors could not explain, told Dr Brown: “What Bermuda needs to do is believe in you and act.”
Another said: “See these shoes? I am ready to march. We have got to do something for Dr Brown, bottom line.”
Medical technician Quinton Butterfield, who opened Central Diagnostics Laboratories in the 1980s, said that he had been unfairly treated by insurers when he started his dream business.
Mr Butterfield said: “They come for Dr Brown today — who do you think it is tomorrow?”
Dr Brown responded: “He represents the target population of black businessmen in Bermuda.”
He asked: “What is the limit that a black man can earn in Bermuda?
“Here is Quinton, who went to school with a vision and a dream, and had to have all kinds of discouraging things happen to him.
“Only black people have that experience in Bermuda. I believe there is an attempt, and has been for years, that when a black person reaches a certain achievement, a decision is made: take them out.”
Dr Brown said he had been asked why he would have been singled out, adding: “First they come for the loud.”
He added: “Just know that it's not just me. This is the message that's being sent to young black doctors: act up like him, and that's what's going to happen to you, too.”