It is now over a week since the Government closed its public consultation regarding Health Care Reform. The Government has categorically stated that they will “not do a U-Turn from the Unified/single payer finance system” despite the overwhelming requests from the population to not rush their decisions. If approximately 7500 signed the petition against the Unified system this represents around 12% of our entire population- it also represents around 20% of the working population stating to government their disapproval. 1 in 5 of the working population indicated they are “not in favor of government having a single payer system” 1 in 5 said please do not rush this. Your “public consultation” does not technically have to end- we live in a democracy. The petition remains open for this reason.

Which bring us to the two questions most asked of Patients1st this week. 1. Who is actually in favor of the Health Scheme 2. What can those that are against it still do in a democracy?

We cannot answer the first question without being biased- but outside of the government we have not seen a whole lot of people vocally supporting the Unified Health Financing Scheme.

So let’s focus on the second question. What can you actually do now that your request for delaying public consultation was denied. A simple approach is to write to your Member of Parliament and let them know how you feel. You could also contact your employers Human Resources department and ask them specifically how will this impact you and then ask them to get a letter from government confirming that the new plan will not result in LESS benefits for you or will not result in a HIGHER cost for the same benefits. You have a right to know that your contract with your employer is not being put at risk. We look at the very sad case in the news where the current SHB did not cover a young Bermudian while away. The “new” plan right now has the same flaw- it does not guarantee a better outcome- it still leaves us UNCLEAR on what would happen to us if we were ill and overseas on the government scheme- it leaves your overseas coverage to discretion on “what is catastrophic”. This is not the way we want to practice medicine

What you should not due is assume that your voice doesn’t matter or that it does not impact you and “somebody else” can speak out. Stand tall, raise your hand, March in public, write a letter—it is your health.