Doctors Hospital fires 43 employees

Doctors Hospital fires 43 employees
Doctors Hospital

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Citing a decline in business activity, Doctors Hospital confirmed that it has laid-off 43 employees.

The BISX-listed health care provider said in a statement that following a  voluntary reduction in executive and manager salaries, the company found it necessary to reduce its full-time staffing by 43 associates.

The company said that since the onset of the COVID19 crisis, the company maintained a three-month commitment (April-June 2020) not to terminate, furlough or otherwise impact the compensation of any of its 535 full-time employees. It noted however that considering reduced patient activity, the hospital is taking all prudent and proactive measures to ensure its financial resiliency remains undiminished.

“This is not a decision that we make lightly nor is it one that we make without tremendous consideration and thought,” said Doctors Hospital CEO, Charles Sealy.

“Throughout the course of the pandemic Doctors Hospital has considered multiple options to mitigate the need for such an action.”

This past month, the company announced a voluntary executive and manager salary reduction by as much as 25 per cent, some of which has been diverted to pay hero bonuses for front line workers treating COVID19 patients.

“We are delicately navigating some very blunt fiscal realities, brought on by COVID19,” said Chief Financial Officer, Dennis Deveaux.

“We must ensure the hospital retains its existing financial strength and is poised to make future investments necessary to expand service lines and improve patient care.

Deveaux continued: “It is therefore clear that we must be proactive and align our cost structure to match patient levels.”

Prior to lowering manpower, Doctors Hospital managed to successfully reduce operating expenses not tied to patient care by as much as 46 percent.

Concurrent with the staffing reduction, the company announced that its first quarter earnings through April 30, 2020 were down by ($351,917) or -16.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Still, the company noted that  given the proactive measures already taken by management, and considering the company’s financial strength, dividend expectations for the fiscal year remain unchanged, the first installment of which is planned for July 2020.

Sealy said: “The next quarter will involve a roll-out of several new strategies resulting in enhanced revenue development.

“In our effort to maintain a safe hospital environment we have recently implemented advanced capacity for COVID19 PCR testing.”

Sealy said: “Anticipating the pressure on businesses to assure a safe environment for their clients and employees, Doctors Hospital’s provision of COVID 19 PCR testing and same-day results will have special value since the threat of COVID19 is likely with us for a while.”

“We are keenly sensitive to the impact that this decision to release 43 Associates now will have on all of our workforce. As a result our Human Resource team has organized a menu of services, support and opportunities for all affected,” he added.

All associates released will have health insurance continued through September in addition to receiving their severance payment, the hospital noted.

Support includes opportunities to join a resource pool to potentially work in a part-time capacity, direct access to the company’s Employee Assistance Program, and resume writing and interview skills workshop.