Hospitals remain limited to emergency services
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) said yesterday that despite a court injunction issued Tuesday, junior doctors continued industrial action, which has limited the services of Princess Margaret Hospital, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, Rand Memorial Hospital and Grand Bahama clinics since last Wednesday.
In a statement, the PHA said it was with regret that it forced to continue the suspension of non-emergency services.
“The authority deeply regrets the impact of the continued withdrawal of service by members of the Bahamas Doctors Union on hospital services and patient care,” the PHA said. “The authority thanks the public for their patience and will continue to keep members of the public informed as regards the full resumption of services.”
It listed the injuries, illnesses and other incidents considered as emergencies.
These included gunshot wounds, chest pains, head injury, uncontrollable bleeding, loss of consciousness, major trauma or accident, asthma, several allergic reactions, extensive burns, fractures and broken bones, deep lacerations and psychiatric emergencies such as suicide attempts or aggressive behavior.
More than 400 junior doctors on New Providence and Grand Bahama withdrew their services last week, more than eight months after the BDU members voted to strike.
The central issue has been holiday pay outstanding since 2014.
The PHA had initially proposed paying a sum of the funds in five tranches, according to the authority, which said the union countered to be paid in four installments.
Following a meeting on Saturday with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and his Cabinet, the union was offered the sum of $4.9 million in two payments. But the BDU declined the offer based on a clause the union believes is not in its best interest.
Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes referred the matter to the Industrial Tribunal.
BDU President Dr. Melisande Bassett said Tuesday that she would instruct her members to return to work Wednesday in accordance with the Industrial Relations Act.