Without a medical professional who makes you comfortable, you will feel  less able to discuss your concerns and, sometimes, sensitive problems. *Photo supplied
Without a medical professional who makes you comfortable, you will feel less able to discuss your concerns and, sometimes, sensitive problems. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9: The BHeC (Bermuda Health Council) and the Bermuda Sun have teamed up to answer your questions about the island’s healthcare system.

Visit www.bhec.bm to submit your queries and look for our response in each Friday’s Bermuda Sun and at bermudasun.bm.

This week’s questions focus on the licensing of physicians.


Question: How do I find out if my physician is registered or licensed to practice in Bermuda?

Answer: To answer your question, let’s first explain the process to register as a medical professional in Bermuda.

In order to practice on the island, healthcare professionals must be licensed, or registered, by a statutory council or board dedicated to their specialization, i.e. if you are a nurse, then you must register with the Nursing Council before practising.

All councils (there are eight) are required by law to re-register healthcare professionals every two years, though there are a few exceptions.

Each council or board has unique practice standards and entry-to-practice criteria; a list of councils can be found at www.bhec.bm/public/prof_bodies.html.

The register for each professional group is gazetted annually and the next update should be in January 2012.

If you are a healthcare professional that needs to register please visit the Department of Health at www.gov.bm where there are a variety of registration forms or contact your respective council.

For the medical-seeking public, there are two places you can “find” health professionals: the Bermuda Health Council’s (BHeC) Healthcare Directory at: www.bhec.bm; and the Bermuda Hospital Boards’ website: www.bhb.bm.

Another tip: whether or not your medical professional is registered or licensed is one consideration, but another is whether or not your healthcare provider is the right fit for you.

You should check whether they are registered, but also their location and specialty.

Ask yourself how easy will it be to visit your doctor? Is it easier if they are closer to where you live or perhaps where you work?

The BHeC Healthcare Directory, which lists all regulated and unregulated healthcare businesses, services and professionals on the island, can help.

The directory is not an endorsement of any healthcare professional, but does offer an opportunity to search for those who can meet your healthcare needs according to location, area of practice, name and contact information.

For the directory please visit: http://www.bhec.bm/public/hc_directory.aspx.

One last tip for your healthcare provider search: do not settle!

Without a medical professional who makes you comfortable, you will feel less able to discuss your concerns and, sometimes, sensitive problems.

Visit our website: www.bhec.bm for more tips on how to prepare before visiting your medical professional.