The following Op-Ed was released today (Aug 10) by One Bermuda Alliance candidate for Constituency 30, Southampton East Central, Dwayne Robinson…

The cost of living continues to increase around the world due to inflation and countries are grappling with this differently. There is no quick fix to this multi-faceted issue, and it will require effective leadership to navigate.  The cause of one of the biggest dents in Bermudians’ pocket is the cost of healthcare; more specifically the cost of healthcare premiums.  

For seniors on a fixed budget, it can become a choice between buying groceries or paying their healthcare, forcing them on financial assistance—if they qualify for it! This is unacceptable for an island, which according to our Premier, is moving in the right direction.  

My One Bermuda Alliance colleagues and I are hardly confident in the current Government’s ability to tackle this issue after their last attempt to bring about healthcare reform.  Watching our cash-strapped Government allow Bermudians to dip into their own pensions and calling it relief is disheartening.  

There is no real solution coming from this Government to alleviate costs. Despite the recent efforts by the PLP government, on the doorstep, I still hear the cries for relief in the face of ever-increasing healthcare premiums.   

If we want to pull through these tough economic times, we will need to see real collaborative efforts, and not just fancy words alluding to it. Bermudians being forced to leave the island benefits nobody so let’s help keep our Bermudians home. The easier it is to live on island, I would hope more people will return. It will only benefit the island’s bottom line.    

The PLP need to establish a regulatory framework for healthcare, that provides government oversight for our healthcare providers. Included in this framework should be submitting Healthcare premium increases to a regulatory body for evaluation and approval.  The health insurance providers stated they are willing to assist with healthcare reform, let’s take them up on that offer.    

They have also agreed to work with Government on insuring the uninsured. There are solutions there when industry experts and Government work together! What is stopping the PLP in delivering Healthcare reform for Bermudians?  

Despite health reform being a top priority in the last two Throne Speeches, no progress has been made. It seems as if Premier Burt and his Government are only committed to lip service regarding collaboration and consultation with providers and payors, both of which are desperately needed.  

Bermudians are being pushed to the breaking point and are facing the reality that they will not be able to keep pace with their expenses if things continue their current trajectory. Seniors who have retired struggle to provide the necessities for themselves. Adults facing retirement age, are forced to keep working because they are unable to retire in their own island. Young people hampered by hefty insurance deductions, making it difficult for them to support themselves. The time for talking is over, Bermudians need action immediately.