EDITOR, The Tribune.
Strikes and strike votes are action taken as a mean of protest where employees try to force their bosses to consider their demands regarding working conditions, salaries and many other concerns.
While different union members take strike votes regularly with very little ado from the public there are some groups that are heavily criticised when they do. Recently both doctors and nurses have taken strike votes creating chasms in the public’s opinion. Some believe it’s just unimaginable that doctors and nurses would even think about striking. While others are more sympathetic and understanding of the plight of these professionals.
The reason that some may see doctors and nurses striking as wrong brings into question the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians and the International Nurse’s Pledge. Considering that at the initial stage of their careers they promised to uphold these codes of ethics, by placing the concerns of their patients above their own. It now appears to be contrary for them to abandon their patients because their demands are not being met. Ethical and moral views are that by staging sick outs and threats of strike. They are putting the lives of their patients at risk by not affording them the required care, as well as adding to their pain and suffering. This causes one to think that doctors are more into themselves than others that serve the public. Especially when they should be the ones we all look up to.
Strikes and rumours of strikes put a lot of pressure on the government. It places them between a rock and a hard place because they are in a position where they have to do their best in pleasing everyone and not just one set of people. However, without a shadow of a doubt there are many legal reasons as to why doctors have the right to strike, and should be allowed to express their displeasure the same way as many other groups of employees do. Having arrived at this stage in negotiations they must have reached an impasse and deemed it fit to take a strike vote. It’s public knowledge that doctors, especially junior doctors, are not being adequately compensated for their services. But their protest far exceeds monetary needs. And those who believe that doctors are being selfish, should take a second look at the hospital and see that not only are the doctors seeking to improve their working conditions but also that of the general public at large. How could their protest be selfish if they are only trying to improve the quality of the service they provide to you, the patient.
How often do we hear talk shows being bombarded by callers complaining about the conditions at the hospital. No bed, friends and loved ones lying on gurneys in corridors for days, trauma room overcrowded, no air conditioning in operating rooms. The list goes on and on. But there are folks who understand that doctors and nurses’ jobs are not only challenging and they appreciate how they have dedicated a large portion of their lives studying and training to practice medicine and realises that it is only fair that they are compensated and recognised for the work they do. Doctor Locksley Monroe is one of the co-founders of the NGO Sister-Sister Breast cancer support, has sat on a number of statutory boards and has held the position of Director of the Operating Theatre at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) as well as being Head of Department of Surgery at PMH. He is a worldwide renowned surgeon who has performed countless numbers of operations, especially on cancer patients. Whose qualification surpasses that of many international physicians. Is at the forefront of the doctors concerns and should be commended for his selfless efforts.
Dr Munroe, all doctors and nurses deserve better treatment and working conditions. Prayerfully their concerns will be addressed quickly. Dear public I believe without an inkling of a doubt that our doctors and nurses have your best interest at heart and they are hurting just as much as you are when they cannot attend to your loved ones the way they should be attended to. Pray for them.
October 26, 2018.