Minister of Health Renward Wells said 29 junior doctors, whose contracts were not renewed earlier this year, are being hired to help with a healthcare worker shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In July, the Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) said 33 junior doctors received notice that their services would no longer be required.
However, the Public Hospitals Authority said the doctors’ internships had come to an end.
Since then, the BDU, along with other health unions, have decried a shortage of healthcare workers, with exposure to COVID-19 continuing to impact teams in healthcare facilities.
Wells said the majority of those doctors are being brought on, given the shortage of workers.
“In regards to the 30 doctors, the Cabinet of The Bahamas has agreed to hire [them],” he said during a Ministry of Health press conference on Friday.
“…I think there were 32 persons in the program and we agreed to hire 29. I think three of the individuals still need to go through the rotation and pass the final parts of their exams so they can be recognized as senior house officers.
“We are very concerned with the amount of stress that’s being put on the current personnel in health. And the government is looking at it. We’re well aware of the issues of the amount of persons that we have. And we do have a Cabinet meeting tomorrow, and we’re going to talk some more about those issues.”
Wells’ comments came one day after Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA) President Dr. Sabriquet Pinder-Butler warned that healthcare workers continue to be exposed to COVID-19 and experience burnout.