Brown-Darrell Clinic owner, Dr Ewart Brown stated outright yesterday that the Bermuda Health Council (BHeC) “has been functioning as a collection agency for the insurance companies”.
While referring to the BHeC’s ‘name and shame’ list of employers who fail to keep up with their health insurance premiums for employees, he said: “That’s not the function of the BHeC.”
And when the decision was made to cut fees for diagnostic imaging in Bermuda, he said: “If doctors had a say around the table, this decision would’ve never been made.
“They are not the hand maidens of the insurance industry.”
Flanked by Progressive Labour Party MPs, Queen’s Counsel Jerome Lynch, and a host of supporters, including patients, Dr Brown stated that the the end goal from the outset “was to put the Brown-Darrell Clinic out of business”.
He noted that the BHeCs first release said clearly there’s no need for a scanner outside the hospital, which he said was later retracted.
He also said some people may say that he is paranoid, to which Dr Brown said: “Just because I’m paranoid don’t mean they’re not out to get me.
“I don’t have to go through the history of what has been done, what is being done to me and my family this is just another example,” he said.
“If the fees are the same for the past ten year with no new charges, what causes the premiums to have to go up? And if $23 was saved how many of you saw $23 go off your premium.”
Apart from the $4 that came off FutureCare, he asked: “So where did the money go?
“The action removes an alternative to the hoSpital it removes choice from those who prefer a private environment,” he said.
“Healthcare is other people’s business until its your business.”
The move, he said, was nothing more than a sustained “political attack”.
Over the years he said the Brown-Darrell Clinic gladly filled in whenever there were problems with CT scanners at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
“It’s been a very good arrangement, and for the same fee that the hospital has paid,” he said.
His lawyer, Mr Lynch said there was “some sort of targeting by the council” and that the BHeC cut diagnostic imaging fees “without any consultation”.
“Having come up with a figure, they decided to slash that even more,” he said.
The new charges introduced last year, resulted in major cuts that reduced payments for one type of scan from $1,441 to $383. Another scan fee rate was cut down from $1,543 to $542.
“Just as lawyers would not like it if a non-legal person were in charge of regulating them, doctors feel that those that regulate us should be doctors,” said Dr Brown.
Moving forward, he said were “a moving target”.
The news conference marks the second joint assignment brought to you by Bermuda Real and TNN, take a look, there’s a lot of information therein.