Bill remains a bad bill despite new amendments says Senator Robin Tucker

During today’s Senate session the Government put forward an amendment removing the penalty of imprisonment for people who fail to provide health data as would be required in accordance with the Bermuda Health Council Amendment Act 2024.

The One Bermuda Alliance was fully supportive of the amendment as during debate in the House of Assembly on 3 May the OBA then proposed the removal of the term of imprisonment, but the amendment was voted down by 18 Government MPs who supported imprisoning health providers for not providing data.
Had the issue of a penalty of imprisonment been the only concern with the Bill, and given the Government’s amendment in the Senate today, we would have been fully supportive of the bill as the OBA recognizes that data collection for the purpose of advancing healthcare reform is necessary.
Health care reform is complex.  All relevant stakeholders should play an active role in the transformative process but disappointedly many key stakeholders were not appropriately consulted and consequently the Bill remains a bad bill, despite the new amendment.
Numerous professional members of the health community reached out to not only the OBA, but the Independent and Government senators some time ago raising multiple concerns with this legislation, not just the threat of imprisonment.  These issues include patient privacy, the open-ended and unrestricted nature of the data collection, and the administrative burden on Medical professionals.
While the Government made one amendment to the Health Council Amendment Act 2024 today, they have done so without genuine consultation with and buy-in from a valuable segment of the health community whose support will be key to assuring the success and development of the framework needed to execute and deliver Health reform for Bermuda’s people.

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