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PHA says its current fiscal status does not allow for unlimited hiring

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) yesterday accused the Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) of misleading the public with regards to the employment status of junior doctors.

The statement came three days after the union claimed that the authority intends to make some healthcare positions redundant and not renew contracts.

On Monday, the union said, “This is an example of the disconnect that exists between the Public Hospitals Authority and the government. On one hand, the government has stated that they will do their best to retain jobs.

“However, PHA has informed over 30 interns and other junior physicians that their services will no longer be required as of July 1, 2020. It is incomprehensible that the goodwill and sacrifice of so many frontline physicians could be rewarded with such avarice and apathy.

“These actions are a travesty and will be indelibly marked on the legacy of this administration as a failure to protect those that gave so much for The Bahamas.”

The union questioned, “Where is the compassion? Where is their heart?”

The PHA yesterday reminded the BDU that interns were on one-year contracts which started on July 1, 2019 and ended on June 30, 2020.

It said there was no change to that practice during the 2020 fiscal year.

“The PHA finds it regrettable that the Bahamas Doctors Union would seek to mislead the public regarding the employment status of junior doctors,” the authority said.

“We realize and appreciate the disappointment that may be caused by the fact that our current fiscal status does not allow for unlimited hiring.

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

The PHA noted that it provides opportunities for medical graduates to advance their training through the completion of a one-year internship as a requirement for licensure with the Bahamas Medical Council.

“Internees from 2019-20 are eligible to apply for vacant senior house officer positions in our three hospitals as of July 10, 2020,” it said.

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