Nevis visitor to Bermuda charged $12 000 by Hospital
An uninsured senior who was treated by emergency room doctors for two bouts of dizziness has been sent a bill for almost $12,000 by the Bermuda Hospitals Board.
Lloyd Williams, a Nevis visitor, 77, and his wife, Mildred, 70, were stunned to receive two invoices totalling $11,740, including more than $7,000 for diagnostic scans.
“It’s hard to fathom,” Mrs Williams told The Royal Gazette. “We can’t afford to pay it.”
The Bermudian couple live in Nevis, in the West Indies, and were visiting Bermuda in September to care for Mr Williams’s 105-year-old mother, Mary.
Mr Williams, a retired musician, became dizzy and nauseous on September 2 and went to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on the advice of a local clinic.
He was there for about eight hours while tests were carried out, including a CT scan of his head and an electrocardiogram to check his heart.
Mr Williams had to wait in a hallway to see medics because no room was available, apparently owing to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Four days later, he felt unwell again and returned to the ER. He had another battery of tests during his eight-hour stay, including more CT scans and another electrocardiogram.
The bulk of the fees listed on his two bills — $7,474 — were for CT scans.
The amount for seeing an emergency room doctor was $566 for the first visit and $1,074 for the second, when his case was deemed more serious.
Mrs Williams said that doctors found a small cyst on the back of her husband’s neck but reassured him that it was nothing to worry about.
The couple left Bermuda to return to Nevis later that month and Mr Williams has not been well since.
The hefty bill from the BHB came as a shock, according to Mrs Williams, who runs a small souvenir shop for tourists in Nevis.
“I was wondering if they were going to send us a bill,” she said. “It took a long time. They eventually sent it through their overseas billing agent.
“Even if we have some savings that doesn’t mean we can afford to pay that kind of a bill. We saved to pay for our old age.”
The couple do not have health insurance in Nevis and did not take out travel insurance for their trip to Bermuda.