Junior doctors threaten to withdraw services

Says PHA has reduced contracts from three years to one year without consultation

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Months after the Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) agreed to call off strike action over outstanding holiday pay, the junior doctors are once again threatening to withdraw their services.

This time, the doctors claim the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) has reduced employee contracts from three years to one year without consultation with the union and without thinking of how the move affects doctors’ everyday lives.

Yesterday, BDU President, Dr. Melisande Bassett, said enough is enough.

“This union has not been told or informed of the government’s intent to implement the one-year contract; they just made the decision,” she said.

“We will use all of the legal means, if it means we have to take strike action, we will.

“We will continue to dialogue with the minster and the PHA and to ensure our members have job security and that conditions aren’t unilaterally changed to disparage us.”

BDU Area Vice President for Sandilands, Petra Forbes, said the change has affected junior doctors.

“The junior doctors were pensionable, then they decided to put us on one year contracts,” she said. “So now we went from permanent and pensionable to three year contracts, to now putting us on one year.

“We can’t get visas, we can’t get mortgages, we can’t a loan for anything with a one-year contract.”

Meanwhile Dr. Bassett said she believes the junior doctors are being unfairly target.