Shadow Health Minister Zane Desilva. *File photo
Shadow Health Minister Zane Desilva. *File photo

 

 

We are pleased that the Minister released the 2007 Business Case for the Urgent Care Centres. We believe the Urgent Care Centres are necessary to provide better health care to Bermudians. This document confirms that view and provides evidence that Urgent Care Centres are needed and provide improved health outcomes for our citizens.

While we commend the Minister of Health for releasing this 6 year old report, we call on the Minister to release the August 2013 report commissioned by the Bermuda Hospitals Board. That report shows that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre has made of Profit of $195,000 since April 2012, in direct contradiction to her claims that the facility is losing money.

It is important for all to note that Urgent Care Centres were taken into account when the new hospital was designed. There are 24% less beds in the new Emergency Department than are in the existing hospital. The loss of those beds coupled with the closing of Lamb Foggo will see a significant increase in waiting times at the Emergency Department. Urgent Care Centres reduce wait times at the Emergency Department and thus save lives!

We must continue moving health care forward in Bermuda, not backwards. This closure, which has been based on false assumptions, will move us in the wrong direction when it comes to health care in this Island and it must not happen!

What is clear from our reading of the 2007 report is that instead of closing Lamb Foggo, the BHB must focus on improving the efficiency of the Urgent Care Centre. We have said this all along, but this report backs up our assertions.

As an example:

  • The 2007 pre-construction business case predicted that in year 2 of the Lamb Foggo’s operation, patient revenue would be $1.17 Million; however the figures from the BHB show that in year 2 Patient revenue was almost double of what was expected $2.27 million.
  • The 2007 pre-construction business case predicted that in year 2 of the Lamb Foggo’s operation, expenses would be $2.03 Million; however the figures from the BHB show that in year 2 the UCC’s expenses were 25% higher that forecast at $2.58 million.

Therefore it is clear to us, that instead a shutting down the facility that is generating far more revenue than anticipated, the BHB must focus on making the UCC more efficient. If revenues are almost double that what was predicted, the BHB must focus on expenses to keep the UCC Operational!

Since year 2, as recent documents have shown, the BHB has controlled expenses and in year 3 of operation the Urgent Care Centre is now turning a profit. The OBA must continue to build on that progress and keep the profit making Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre open. The people of this country deserve no less!