Thursday, April 18, 2024

Jamaica: Doctors still off jobs

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Apr 5, CMC – Medical doctors remained off their jobs for the second consecutive day as health facilities across the island continued to provide only emergency services.
President of the Association of Government Medical Consultants (AGMC), Dr. Orville Morgan, said the doctors would only return to work depending on the outcome of talks with the Minister without Portfolio in the Finance Ministry, Horace Dalley.
 “Well, conditions have not changed and I suppose that they will remain ill, for those who are ill. The next move is that they will meet with the Minister, hopefully, and that there will be something positive out of that meeting so we can report back to our members. The membership will then decide what is the next move,” he added.
President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA), Dr. Dane Miller, has also warned that the industrial action would continue.
“Well the nature of illness is that it can last; you can feel bad for a day or you can feel bad for two days or three days, so really we have to wait and see how the members are feeling. We encourage them to take good care of themselves and try to get back to work when they feel up to it,” he said.
The protest has stemmed from an impending reclassification exercise to be undertaken during the 2013/2014 financial year.
Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson told Parliament on Thursday that he hopes the Ministry of Finance will deal with the reclassification issue swiftly to restore normality in the public health service. 
But the opposition Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) spokesman on Health, Dr. Ken Baugh, expressed surprise that the issue with the medical doctors has been ignored for so long.
“It is a complex issue. I heard Minister Dally saying that they are going to talk and that an arrangement is made for them to talk. That kind of dialogue is more than necessary and I can’t understand why it is that it could get to this stage without that kind of dialogue having taken place so that this kind of action would not have become necessary,” he added.
 

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