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Sands: No doctors being fired

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands yesterday denied rumors that a group of junior doctors was fired by the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).

“[He] happens to be misleading the public and this honorable house,” he said.

“There have been no physicians who have been released, terminated, fired or will be released, terminated or fired.”

Sands was responding to Central and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes, who raised the issue in the House of Assembly during his contribution to a resolution for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

According to an Eyewitness News report, Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) President Melisande Bassett claimed on Tuesday that the government was planning to fire 20 junior doctors who have been awaiting their contracts.

Forbes pointed to the claims, calling the purported termination of the doctors one of many issues facing the country today. He also raised concern over a lack of doctors in his constituency.

“Still today, there are still no doctors in any area of my constituency,” he said.

However, Sands said doctors will be placed in openings in public healthcare facilities across the country.

“For years, the people of The Bahamas have spent millions of dollars training and educating young persons to become physicians,” he said.

“There has been an expectation that after the people of The Bahamas pay for medical school, that these graduates will then do an internship at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

“We are accredited for 25 spots, and we have allowed that to go up to 40. We have now said, the Princess Margaret Hospital has now said, that they cannot accommodate more than 13 of those interns that recently completed. So, they are now being asked to apply for the jobs. 

“Anybody who does not get placed at Princess Margaret Hospital will now go into the community. And so, [Central and South Andros], you now have an opportunity to have a doctor come into your community.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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