Hamilton, Bermuda (June 30, 2020) – As part of its strategy to diversify its operations and develop a business model that drives up quality of healthcare while seeking to drive down costs, Argus Group Holdings Limited (the “Argus Group” or “Argus”) today announced the acquisition of primary care medical practices, Island Health Services and the Family Practice Group.
This investment is the first phase of a strategic plan to create a ‘Better Health Partnership’, which will offer greater access to affordable, high quality care, while creating long-term, sustainable savings. At present, the medical practices will operate as usual, however, a number of strategies designed to improve service and reduce costs will be announced in the coming months.
Alison Hill, Chief Executive Officer of The Argus Group, said: “In light of ongoing efforts to improve the healthcare delivery model in Bermuda and the importance placed on quality healthcare made all the more acute by COVID-19, Argus is proud to announce the acquisition of Island Health Services and the Family Practice Group with the intention of creating a ‘Better Health Partnership’.”
“We enter this alliance with a shared, single-minded intention to provide high quality healthcare whilst simultaneously working hard to tackle increasing costs and health insurance inflation. By joining insurance and healthcare together, we aim to make quality care more affordable for more people.”
Peter Lozier, Chief Executive – Americas, The Argus Group, said “Echoing global trends, a new healthcare delivery model is being introduced in Bermuda and the alliance we are forming is based on the model of existing practices in other best-in-class healthcare systems across the globe. These forms of partnerships are examples of how companies have aligned together behind the goal of helping to improve the healthcare system.” Dr. Gerhard Boonstra, Director, Island Health Services, said: “Both Island Health Services and the Family Practice Group have built solid reputations for quality patient care in the local community. We are excited to join with Argus and leverage the strengths of a larger organisation to help expand our capabilities to their full potential. This is a chance to positively impact health and help rewrite healthcare in Bermuda. This is a tried and tested formula that we believe will refine and streamline our current system, resulting in better outcomes for all our patients, no matter their insurance provider.”
Dr Louise White of the Family Practice Group said: “Change is always difficult and we have all had a lot of change recently. By joining forces with these two well established Bermudian companies, The Family Practice Group will have the stability and security to continue to serve all our patients and continue to offer the physician-led, patient-centred care that they are used to. The only change ahead is that we will get better together.”
Dr Basil Wilson, Director, Island Health Services, said: “In the coming years, we will be investing in innovations and improvements including enhanced biometric health tracking and health and wellness programmes focused on improving health, not just treating illness, enabling us to create diverse healthcare packages for individual needs. There will be no service changes for anyone who is currently registered with Island Health Services or the Family Practice Group, and all are welcome to continue seeing their doctors. Our intention is not to exclude anyone, our intention is to make healthcare better for everyone. Regardless of your health insurer, you will be welcome and able to see your primary care physician.” Peter Lozier added: “Our initial partnership with Island Health Services began over Shelter in Place when we reintroduced our 24/7 telenurse hotline service for our clients as well as uninsured and Government Health Insurance Policy (HIP) patients referred by the Government’s COVID-19 hotline. Through this partnership, Island Health Services has been able to provide telehealth consults with no copay to patients in need, diminishing unnecessary visits to doctors’ offices and the hospital while we worked to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Through today’s acquisition, we are looking forward to building upon the success of this initiative and introducing more programmes that will benefit all Bermuda residents.” Alison Hill added: “We have been part of Bermuda’s healthcare system for 70 years. We strongly believe in the people and the spirit of Bermuda and we are reinvesting in it. We are proud to be investing in the future of Bermuda’s healthcare, for the interest of all.”