“I am fully aware of the ongoing media and social media commentary regarding the Hamilton Medical Centre and Dr JJ Soares seeking Standard Health Benefit (SHB) approval. As the matter is currently under reconsideration, I am unable to provide substantive comments.
“More importantly, the review of health service providers’ SHB applications is for the Bermuda Health Council to undertake as the regulatory body, not the Ministry of Health.
“What I can say is this – SHB is not guaranteed for any medical business in Bermuda. It is deeply regretful that allegations of discrimination have entered the conversation when there a number of businesses that have been approved or denied SHB over the last few years. The businesses denied SHB continue to deliver care for our community, and they are black and white businesses. Not having SHB does not stop a business from operating or providing services.
“The current legal status is this: The Health Council reviewed Dr Soares’ application for SHB, and following review by multiple committees, it was denied. Dr Soares appealed this decision to the Supreme Court, as is his right. The Supreme Court granted Dr Soares’ SHB, so, at present, Dr Soares is operating with SHB approval. However, the Bermuda Health Council appealed that decision, and the Court of Appeal granted the Health Council’s application against the Supreme Court decision, directing that the Health Council conduct another review of Dr Soares’ application.
“It is my understanding that reconsideration is pending. For any further information, I would have to direct you to the Bermuda Health Council.”
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