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Sands: Junior Doctors May Be Moved, But Not Fired

Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff

Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff

By LEANDRA ROLLE

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

AMID concerns about the unemployment status of some 20 junior doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands yesterday explained that those unconfirmed physicians will not be fired, but transferred to other posts in the public healthcare system.

This, he said, is because jobs at PMH are limited.

“What we’ve said is that there are only 13 posts at Princess Margaret Hospital and if you have 23 persons vying for those posts, then ten people will not get the posts. Those that are confirmed will be paid retroactively until July,” he told The Tribune yesterday.

“The rest will have to be employed elsewhere in the healthcare system. You see I don’t think the public understands that we cannot infinitely expand posts simply because there are people that want jobs. If the need of the healthcare system is 500, then we hire 500 and so if you have more coming in, then some have to go.”

His comments came a day after a representative of junior doctors raised alarm concerning the employment status and future of more than a dozen junior doctors at PMH.

Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) president Dr Melisande Bassett said at least 20 doctors faced an uncertain employment future during this Christmas season.

“These are junior doctors that would have been employed since July operating in the capacity that they are operating now,” she said. “(PHA) refuse to give them a contract, refuse to hire them but kept them lingering on all this time without paying them at the rate they should have been paid.”

BDU officials said that doctors have been functioning as senior house operators without a contract for six months.

But, to this, Dr Sands replied: “Any person who applies to work in the civil service understands that it’s a process. Confirmation can sometimes take an incredibly long time as you know… (doctors) continue to work as acting SHOs and they will continue to act until such time until they’ve been confirmed.”

The health minister has previously said there have been some outstanding challenges in getting medical professionals processed through the public health care system.

In October, he revealed to reporters that he hoped to have the waiting time reduced.

In the meantime, Dr Sands maintains the government is still committed to improving the health care system to better serve the Bahamian people.

“The people of The Bahamas pay and they want and are entitled to good care and this administration is prepared to provide doctors to all the people in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” he said in the House of Assembly yesterday.

“So, in Central Andros, you will now have an opportunity to have a doctor to come to your community,” he said, responding to a concern from South Andros MP Picewell Forbes. “We will provide doctors in Elizabeth Estates, in South Beach, in Flamingo Gardens and so on and so forth.”

Comments

birdiestrachan 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Sands is all over the place with this story will the truth ever be known? No. not with Sands who is a stranger to the TRUTH

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The part about "moving" is not wrong ....... it's long overdue for MOH.

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 3 weeks ago

What is happening in the MOH is probably happening in every other Government Ministry and Agency ......... the 2019-20 Budget is severely limited (and KPT is now cutting them back by 12%) and so there is no space for new hires or promotions for civil servants .......... hence the long promised waits for new hirings and no confirmations for extended periods of time for "acting" civil servants.

Then to add insult to injury, there are too many "dead head" persons still sucking on the Public Purse with 40+ years and years of accumulated vacation ....... with NO intention of retiring.

But, again, the Minister of Health (like all the others) is telling Half Truths to the people dem.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill Gates please don't come to the Bahamas. The govt only hiring people 18-35. The young people gat all the brains and ideas

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Clamshell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe a little off the main topic, but ... if you were injured or seriously ill, how would you feel about being treated by a “junior doctor” who couldn’t qualify for an actual job? Ehhhhh?

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Teaching hopspitals exist all over the world. The only way great doctors become great is by going through one of them.

The problem isn't necessarily the "junior" doctor, it's the supervision and the teaching. Also something I learned recently, the classification system at this hospital is off, you have guys who have the experience and knowledge sufficient to be considered consultants at other hospitals still classified as junior doctors. And all a dem dress alike can't tell Peter from Paul....well until the funeral

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 2 weeks ago

We are talking about doctors who have already been taught and graduated with their MBBS ....... What happens when a teacher completes UB with a B.Ed???? Or when a police officer finishes Police College?????......... They are sent to Cat Island to teach or police, right? ........ Why can't the doctor go to Cat Island and practice his/her craft?????

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Any Out Island that is not presently served by Bahamian medical doctors.

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