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Minister Says Junior Doctor Contract Cuts Only In 'Isolated Incidents'

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Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands yesterday denied junior doctors are having their contracts cut from three years to one year, instead maintaining this is occurring only in “isolated incidents”.

He added that he intends to speak to the president of the Bahamas Doctors Union on this matter.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the “World No Tobacco Day 2019” press conference Friday, Dr Sands also addressed the walkout staged on Thursday by the Princess Margaret Hospital kitchen staff.

The health minister noted that the dispute was over a malfunctioning air-conditioner. He said engineering assistance has been sought to solve the matter.

The BDU, which represents junior doctors, held a press conference Wednesday regarding one-year contracts being issued to junior doctors.

BDU President Dr Melisande Bassett maintained the issuing of one-year contracts goes against the union’s industrial agreement and noted the union is eying a strike poll.

When asked about this matter, Dr Sands told reporters: “That’s not so. There are isolated incidents where individuals may have an extension for one year or two years. There are some individuals that are kept on month to month, depending on the specific circumstances.

“And so, we have met. Certainly we have discussed this situation and there are certainly occasions when it is impossible or not appropriate to extend or to renew a contract for more than a particular time.”

Regarding the threat of industrial action, Dr Sands replied: “That’s unfortunate. And we have met here at the ministry on this matter.

“As you know, I’ve been away for the World Health Assembly and so I intend to speak to the president of the union. The number of people who are affected by this certainly is very low, very few.”

On Thursday, a number of PMH kitchen staff walked off the job due to extreme heat caused by the kitchen’s exhaust system failing.

Dr Sands underscored he did not arrive back in the country until Thursday evening, but said engineering support has been requested.

“I just got back in town yesterday evening so the specifics of what happened…I am informed that this was on the basis of a malfunctioning air conditioner,” he said. “And if that is the case, I think manmade devices can malfunction at any time. The question is, what did you know, when did you know it, and what did you do?

“So as soon as we would have gotten wind of it, we would have requested the appropriate engineering support in order to get it corrected.”

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 1 week ago

Unfortunately many of the UWI trained medical doctors usually don't meet the expertise norms expected of a physician. They often have less training and medical knowledge than a highly skilled nurse practioner or physician assistant in most developed countries. That's a frightening reality given the number of 'low-cost-low skilled' UWI 'doctors' within our public healthcare system today.

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raiders 6 months, 1 week ago

Please provide proof to assert your claims. It's just sad that our own people are the persons that bring down our home grown professionals. Real black crab syndrome. The average UWI graduate spends 5 years training to obtain their medical degree, which is more than even in the US where they only spend 4 years. UWI emphasizes clinical training which means that upon graduating the typical physician is capable of making diagnosis without the need of fancy machines and test. They are far more ready to be placed on any family island upon graduating than many US trained physicians. I guess you'll be more happy when this government decides to invest in Cuban doctors than your own Bahamaian doctors. Be careful of how you bad mouth people children.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 1 week ago

Most MDs educated and trained in the U.S. put in nearly 12 years on average to become an accredited state board certified practitioner in just about any highly specialized area of medicine today. U.S. trained MDs are usually well trained and skilled in using today's cutting edge technologies to give their patients the best possible care and greatest chance of survival, especially in critical situations and cases of death threatening illnesses. Most UWI trained doctors are able to be treated like lowly underpaid and abused union members because they are not even qualified to enter the rigourous specialist care study programs and sit the exceptionally difficult exams imposed by most U.S. medical schools and state boards. Sands knows the U.S. will not open its doors for most UWI trained doctors despite the grave shortage of MDs throughout the U.S. at this time. The budgetary constraints of third world countries (like ours) permit for most part basic medical care only and that's what UWI doctors are trained to provide with limited specialization. Few UWI doctors in the Bahamas are capable of providing critical or acute medical care anywhere near the quality level that exists in most developed countries like the U.S.. These are just simple facts. If you're a Bahamian and critically ill, you want to be receiving medical care in the U.S.

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raiders 6 months, 1 week ago

You are clearly misinformed and I wouldn't waste my time to correct you. Just try do more careful research. You are the typical example of black crab syndrome.

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ElzaBehrens 6 months, 1 week ago

I am a US trained Registered Nurse and worked as a Public Health Nurse in the Bahamas for many years. The best doctors I have ever had the privilege to work with, in my entire career, were UWI trained physicians working on Cat Island.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 1 week ago

You're simply making my point.....on Cat Island you can only get basic medical care and that's what most UWI trained doctors are all about. UWI is not in the business of producing highly specialized MDs in most fields of medicine with the ability (know how) to use many of the state of the art medical technologies available today.

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bogart 6 months, 1 week ago

DIS TING ...3 years to 1 year...Govt anomoly payment contract sytem.......is..IS PAYING....IS SEEMS TO CUT GUBBERMINT CONTRACT EMPLOYEES TO .......DENY..... CONTRACTWORKERS TO .....PAY DEM THE GRATUITY PART OF SALARY AT CONTRACT AFTER PERFORMANCE....CONTRACT HAS WHICHIN HAS NO OR NO BENEFITS FOR THE CONTRACT WPRKERS.......IF YA HAS A CONTRACT WITH NO BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR YA GETS NO GRATUITY PAYMENT..............IF YA GETS A CONTRACT FOR 2 OR MORE YEARS YA GETS NO OR NO BEFENITS BUT GETS A PAYMENT GRATUITY OF EACH YEAR 2 OR 3 YEAR CONTRACT......seems da diabolitical ting is to employs dem by each year contract term to avoid paying an cheapest 1 year contract.....

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raiders 6 months, 1 week ago

Why does it seem like Dr. Sands is always acting so indifferent when it comes to these issues involving other doctors. Its so funny because he always seem to worship the nurses and rush to defend them at the drop of a dime. He seems so sketchy whenever he talks about issues involving doctors. Are yall really making it that hard for doctors to get a mortgage at the bank? Wow! You would think a doctor as the minister of health all of their issues would be solved. Lawyers never seem to have issues and government has been ran by them for years.

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