'Nurses still missing out on money'


Bahamas Nurses Union President Amancha Williams. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff


Tribune Staff Reporter


SOME nurses were not paid their promised scarcity allowance yesterday, according to Bahamas Nurses Union president Amancha Williams.

Registered nurses and trained clinical nurses in the public system were to get $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

But Ms Williams said a “good number of them” did not get the money. “Scarcity allowance is not mandated in the Industrial Agreement but every country is doing it to keep their nurses in their countries. It was promised we would get it (yesterday). We are just taking names of people now who weren’t paid and they are really upset because they’ve worked really hard. Some of them worked Hurricane Dorian and haven’t been paid overtime for that or given their expected per diem,” she said.

Health Minister Dr Sands recently discussed the nurse shortage in the country, saying the deficit is in the hundreds.

“One of the things that we have done is we have just provided a scarcity allowance for nurses, $3,000 a year for registered nurses and $2,000 a year for trained clinical nurses,” he told a local daily previously. “They will start getting that in January 2020. So, it is an effort to demonstrate the recognition that as a profession, they are indeed scarce. They are being recruited away from The Bahamas. Arguably, the most important contact that determines quality of care is contact time with a registered nurse. So, if you don’t have enough registered nurses in your healthcare system, it is impossible to provide the level of care that you need. This issue of nursing poses an existential threat for the delivery of healthcare services in the Caribbean.”

Some nurses also reported yesterday that after receiving a $1,400 lump sum last month, that amount of money was subtracted from their pay this month.

Ms Williams first said those affected were nurses who received in-service training awards and are on study leave. However, she later said confusion surrounded the issue as there appeared to be a glitch in the system. Up to press time, there was no explanation provided for the issue.

Dr Sands was not available for comment yesterday.


bahamianson 4 years, 2 months ago

Nurses still missing out hey? Look up to the article about borrowing. That is our problem, everyone wants more and more . We can't keep borrowing to pay salaries. If we don't have it, we don't have it. I certainly don't want to be burdened with an 8 billion dollar debt. Don't talk about raising VAT !


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