The reason given for the planned closure of the Lamb Foggo facility was a monetary one.  One cannot argue that Bermuda is going through tough times economically.  

This facility was timely and useful at this end of the island. With all the claims of cost cutting, we must remember that OBA stated in their first throne speech, 

“…reopen the Medical Clinic to provide primary care for Bermudians who cannot afford health insurance” – 2013 Throne Speech.  

What will pay for these new facilities if we have no extra money? Why couldn’t the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre be used for this purpose in addition to providing the current invaluable services?

 It was revealed during the question period in the House of Assembly last Friday that the OBA Cabinet was in full knowledge of the closure of the UCC. Additionally, it was noted that several high level OBA officials and supporters sit on the BHB board that closed the UCC:

• Thad Hollis, OBA Chairman

• Jeanne Atherden, OBA MP, Constituency 19, Pembroke West

• Louise Jackson, former OBA MP, Ministry of Health consultant

• Kathy Gibbons, wife of OBA MP, Dr. Grant Gibbons

• Dr Andrew West, St. George’s Doctor, Author of Endorsement letter for Nandi Davis 

Why the rush to close the facility with zero consultation with the residents? I seriously have to wonder — could this be a Sage recommendation? 

 Will some east end doctor ride in on their white horse and privatize the facility and all of a sudden, miraculously turn it into a profit-making venture?

To purposely discount the input of the electorate is something that I am still trying to wrap my head around. 

Politics 101 tells us that all politics is local. Based on the number of persons I have run into from Constituency 4, most have stated they are not happy with the representation they are getting as present. 

 The constituencies of 1, 2 and 4 deserve better and should demand better. We have one MP saying consultation should not be expected. Whilst  two others, who, similar to their performance during the debate on the Municipality Bill, have purposely remained silent; content to not even listen to or provide a voice for their constituents at all.

Time will tell if the BHB and OBA will consult the residents and perhaps work towards a long-term solution more palatable to all parties. However, while we wait for that, I encourage all constituents to ensure your MP hears your voice, because it is painfully obvious that some MPs seem to think your opinions are not needed or not valuable enough to ask you for it.

Some residents have e-mailed me with other potential options for the use of the clinic

• Increase islandwide awareness of facility;

• Offer increased services such as mammography, diagnostic imaging;

• Move government offices to Southside, saving on rent, and increasing clients;

• Possibly merge with the St George’s clinic.

The key thing is that we must all be willing to listen to one another and find solutions. The OBA seems to have already promised this facility to someone for private use. This is a dangerous trend and one which the residents are firmly against. 

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