Letters to the Editor

Scrap health council to ease financial stress on sufferers

Dear Sir,

There are complaints about the cost of healthcare in Bermuda. However, I do feel this is being driven by the insurance companies and also by the Bermuda Health Council.

First of all, the insurance companies go with the American and Canadian systems, whereby every thing is itemised. Let me explain with just one example: the insurance codes list the removal of an eyelash; one can make a claim for about $60 to $70 for this procedure.

I am not sure what it is right now, but this was the fee they put out in the schedule. Generally, the patient turns up with an eye irritation that has been present for some days, and the first thing one thinks of is an inverted eyelash. It takes 20 seconds to diagnose, check and remove with instant relief.

There were a number of eyelashes I have removed and there has been “no charge” to the patient or the insurance company. What did I get out of it? Goodwill.

Another example is the glaucoma test for intraocular pressure, which is part and parcel of the routine eye examination in my opinion, but can be chargeable to the insurance companies or the patient.

Next we have the health council coming up with the idea of inspecting practices and equipment, therein ensuring that they are up to its “specifications”. There is the Bermuda Medical Council, Dental Council and Optometrists Council, all of which ensure that those persons in practice are qualified practitioners and that they have the right to impose regulations and control their members.

If the Government wants to save money, it should abolish the health council for starters. The money saved could go towards the healthcare of those who are struggling with their costs.

Kim Wilson needs to look at this aspect of cost savings. Everyone is becoming overregulated, but it comes with a cost. My thoughts now are such that I thank God I am no longer in practice and do not have to fight this stupidity.

Also, my costs to the insurance companies are less because my blood pressure is low.