Doctors remain on strike

The junior doctors continued to engage in industrial action today, despite a Supreme Court injunction that ordered them to return to work, according to a statement from Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).

“… as a result, services at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, Rand Memorial Hospital and Grand Bahama clinics are limited to emergencies only,” PHA said.

“The authority deeply regrets the impact of the continued withdrawal of service by members of the Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) on hospital services and patient care.”

Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder ordered the BDU to instruct its members to return to work. Winder granted the injunction against the BDU around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

It was ordered that the union, listed as the respondents in the matter, be restrained from contravening sections 76, 77 and 83 of the Industrial Relations Act. It was also ordered that the union instruct its members to return to their specific areas of employment and report to work when scheduled to do so.

The matter will be argued before Winder on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

The union started its strike action last week amid concerns over pay they say is owed to them for holidays worked over the past decade.

The union said the doctors are collectively owed $10 million. The government offered to pay $4.9 million to the doctors. However, a meeting on Monday morning to discuss and finalize that agreement fell through when Bassett said she was advised by the union’s legal counsel not to sign.

On Monday, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes referred the union’s strike action to the Industrial Tribunal as it had “threatened the public interest”. The move was expected to lead to the end of the strike and see the doctors return to work.

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