Fiscal restraints limit hiring of medical doctors — PMH administrator

Fiscal restraints limit hiring of medical doctors — PMH administrator
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NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Administrator Mary Walker said yesterday pointed to fiscal restraints on the Public Hospitals Authority’s (PHA) ability to hire.

This came as the Bahamas Doctors Union asserted at least 30 junior doctors were facing job insecurity despite working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

During a Ministry of Health press conference yesterday, Walker said the PHA found it regrettable the union sought to mislead the public regarding the employment status of junior doctors.

Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Administrator Mary Walker

She read a PHA statement as she responded to questions concerning the BDU’s claims.

Walker said the PHA acts a teaching institution, and provides opportunities for medical graduates to advance their training through the completion of the one-year internship, as required for the licensure within the Bahamas Medical Council.

The one-year contracts for the interns began on July 1, 2019, and ended on June 30, 2020.

Walker said the internship parameters have remained the same

“We realize and appreciated the disappointed that may be caused by the fact that our current fiscal status does not allow for unlimited hiring,” she read.

“The PHA recognizes the innumerable contributions and sacrifices of the house officers to our institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the fiscal impact of this pandemic has significantly altered our course and reduced our operating budgets for the 2020 and beyond.

“Interns from the 2019 to 2020 are eligible to apply for vacant senior house officer positions in our three institution as of July 10, 2010.”

This week, the union said it was incomprehensible that the goodwill and sacrifice of so many frontline physicians could be rewarded with “avarice and apathy”.

“It’s unfortunate, as a frontline worker during this entire COVID-19 pandemic many of these unsung heroes are left with job and financial insecurities.

“The government promised that there will be no job loss as a result of this pandemic.

“However, the Public Hospitals Authority has indicated to doctors plans to make some positions redundant and not renew contracts. How is this just reward?”

“It’s unfortunate, as a frontline worker during this entire COVID-19 pandemic many of these unsung heroes are left with job and financial insecurities.

“The government promised that there will be no job loss as a result of this pandemic.

“However, the Public Hospitals Authority has indicated to doctors plans to make some positions redundant and not renew contracts. How is this just reward?”