Following revelations that the Ministry of Health is probing the alleged sale of fraudulent sick slips by physicians, Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA) President Dr. Locksley Munroe yesterday called the behavior inappropriate and unacceptable.
Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands revealed on Thursday that officials discovered an advertisement circulating on social media offering sick time to employees at a cost of $40. The service was being promoted in a WhatsApp group.
Sands explained that based on preliminary investigations, just the sick slips are being sold, so there is no requirement for an examination to be conducted. Interested customers simply state the number of days they would like off from work and pay a prorated fee.
Speaking to the matter in an interview with The Nassau Guardian, Munroe said, “From the moral and ethical view, that particular behavior is inappropriate and shall never be acceptable to the profession of medicine. Are there times when you have to support your patient? Yes.
“Health is not just the absence of disease but a state of mental, physical and social well being.”
Munroe noted that while many people may call themselves professionals, “How many of us really, truly understand what it means to be a professional?”
“You have a fiduciary responsibility,” he continued.
“Do you know the meaning of the word fiduciary? Not many persons devote the time and effort to find out.
“You are know by whom you associate with.”
The Nassau Guardian called the number advertised in the social media post and spoke to the alleged doctor, who confirmed that he does offer the service.
During the call with our team, he informed us that he is currently off the island for three weeks. He cited the cost for the document at $50 for a week of time off and $40 for less time. He also advised that no examination is needed to get the sick slip.
While the call was short, his operation via social media was much more detailed.
In a WhatsApp conversation, he asked for specific information, including how many days off were needed, the employee’s name and the employer’s name before confirming a drop off location.
The matter is still under active investigation.
Sands said officials have identified one of the alleged culprits and plan to take it “to the fullest extent of the law and follow the legal steps required”.