Ewart Brown claims the Bermuda Government’s lawsuit against the Lahey Clinic is an attempt to “settle a political score” against him.
In a press release, the former premier launched a vigorous defence of his relationship with the hospital, which he insists has saved lives and improved the quality of life for Bermudians.
Dr Brown rounded on Trevor Moniz, the Attorney-General, whom he accused of leading an attack on his professional and personal reputation.
The 54-page civil complaint, filed on Tuesday, accuses Dr Brown and the Massachusetts-based hospital of a bribery-based scheme to profit at the expense of Bermudians, which put patients’ health at risk.
Dr Brown dismissed them as “countless lies and ridiculous allegations”.
He stated: “Now we know. For years, the media and others in Bermuda have been asking the question: Who is behind this $3 million, six-year unending investigation of Dr Brown? Now we know.
“It has been revealed that the Bermuda Government, led by Attorney-General Trevor Moniz, retained a law firm and public relations company in Boston to intensify the effort to destroy my personal and professional reputation. He filed a lawsuit against Lahey Hospital in Boston federal court, which contained countless lies and ridiculous allegations.
“In yesterday’s Boston Globe, a former federal prosecutor noted that ‘civil racketeering actions are fairly common, but what makes this unusual is that it’s a foreign government bringing the case and alleging corruption by one of its own former members’.
“Why is Bermuda’s own Attorney-General so hellbent on pursuing a vendetta against a former premier and leader of Bermuda’s Opposition that he sacrifices the reputation of our entire pristine jurisdiction by baselessly alleging political corruption, when none has been remotely proven?
“In order to bring down a former premier in an election year, why would Bermuda’s own Attorney-General launch a broadside against one of the most reputable medical centres in the United States: one that has treated Bermudian patients with care, dignity and excellent medical care for over the past 20-plus years?
“Most importantly, why did the Government of Bermuda, now clearly led by the Attorney-General, trample over patients’ rights in a desperate attempt to criminalise me?
“Why did the Government authorise and carry out a raid on my medical clinics to gain unfettered access to the confidential medical records of thousands of patients without the patients’ prior knowledge or consent?
“Hundreds of Bermudian patients are in angst right now. They wonder which of the many police officers, seen forcibly breaking into my clinics and totally unmonitored during a 36-hour siege, were able to see even their names on their medical files.
“They dread that their files were opened and that their medical histories
are now known in a community as small as Bermuda. What attorney-general anywhere would sanction such a horrible, unprecedented, disgusting and unnecessary invasion of patient privacy in order to settle a political score with a former premier?”
Dr Brown said the link-up with Lahey has benefited Bermuda residents financially.
“For over 20 years, Bermuda HealthCare Services brought Lahey sub-specialists to Bermuda so that residents would not have to travel abroad to see them, which actually saved the Government of Bermuda money,” he said.
“And of course, thousands of Bermudians have travelled to Lahey and received first-class care at reasonable prices.
“Pain has been relieved, lives have been saved and many Bermudians now have a better quality of life because Lahey physicians have had a contractual relationship with my clinics since before my party was even elected to run the Government, dating back to when my party was in Opposition and long before I was premier.
“Until very recently, these Lahey physicians worked out of my offices under work permits issued by the Government of Bermuda to Lahey, which were sought and held by Bermuda HealthCare Services.
“Perhaps the Attorney-General did not know this. One has to surmise that the Attorney-General also never drove by my most centrally located clinic in town to see our large road or building signs with ‘Lahey Physicians’ on them, or never saw our letterhead, which had on every page ‘An Affiliate of Lahey Hospital, Burlington’.
“There is no one in Bermuda, obviously save the Attorney-General in this lawsuit, who would call our relationship with Lahey undisclosed or secret.”
Regarding the complaint, the former premier said: “One is treated to a litany of lies, designed to convert a fully vetted contractual agreement into a bribe.
“The Attorney-General’s actions serve to dismiss or tarnish over two decades of hard work conducted by professionals in both Bermuda and Boston to raise the quality of healthcare in Bermuda. Shame on him!
“Naturally, we are continuing our fight in Bermuda, now armed with the knowledge that Bermuda politics is the driving force behind a six-year, multimillion-dollar farcical investigation and this untenable, frivolous lawsuit.”
Seized medical records may soon be returned to Dr Brown’s clinics after the Police confirmed last night that they will obey Supreme Court orders handed down earlier in the day by Justice Stephen Hellman.
“The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that we are complying with the order from the court in this matter,” a spokesman said.
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