DeSilva urges OBA to scrap Medical Clinic idea
Opposition MP Zane DeSilva expressed little surprise on hearing plans to reopen the Medical Clinic for uninsured patients will not happen.
Health Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin promised to reopen the clinic by September 8, however, due to the “chronic” budget crisis at Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB), she disclosed to this newspaper the election promise will not come to fruition for another six months.
On hearing of the delay, the Shadow Minister said: “The news that the One Bermuda Alliance have failed to keep another of their election promises is not surprising. After all, they broke eight promises in just their first 100 days.
“Since then the record hasn't improved as the broken promises continue to mount and OBA excuses and lack of openness, transparency and accountability are becoming routine,” said Mr DeSilva.
“The news that the OBA have failed to keep their promise to reopen the Indigent Clinic could be added to the OBAs growing record of failure or it can be used as an opportunity to drop this proposal for good.”
For years he said the Indigent Clinic was “a humiliating and degrading concept that segregated the poor from the rest of society and denied them access to the full range of medical options that the rest of us have, simply because they were poor”.
“We moved Bermuda forward and today every Bermudian can choose the doctor they want, to receive the medical care they want, regardless of income. Yet the OBA want to take Bermuda backwards and bring back the shameful and discredited concept of an indigent clinic,” said Mr DeSilva.
“Dropping this scheme would save Bermudians tens of thousands of dollars that could and should be used to help the seniors who have been hurt by OBA cuts to financial assistance, raising of vehicle licence fees and who will be forced out of work when they reach 65.”
He called on the OBA “to keep Bermuda in the 21st century, turn their failure into an opportunity and drop their plan to take healthcare for the needy, backwards”.
The Health Ministry is currently reviewing potential sources of funding and other options.
A spokeswoman said this week: “Once all of the options have been reviewed, the Ministry will announce when and where the Medical Clinic will come into operation.”