Categorized | National News

Dr. Sands Calls Dr. Bassett’s Comments ‘Interesting’

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands yesterday responded to president of the Bahamas Doctors Union Dr. Melisande Bassett’s comments, made this past weekend, labeling them as “interesting”. 

Dr. Bassett expressed to reporters this past Friday that she felt officials ambushed the union. 

However, Dr. Sands insisted that Ministry of Health and the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) officials were invited to a meeting by Director of Labour John Pinder. 

“Furthermore, it is never a bad opportunity to have a conversation to bring resolution in the interest of the people of The Bahamas,” Dr. Sands said.

“We are not enemies. We’re on the same team. Now, we may have a different view as to how to get to the end point that we’re going to get to. So, to use a word like ‘ambushed,’ it speaks to a context of antagonism. I think it’s an unfortunate choice of words.”

He added that health officials have continued to meet every day and he continued negotiations with the union’s attorney.  

Also in an interview, Pinder told The Bahama Journal, “I might have made an error in not advising the president that they were coming to the meeting, but I cannot resolve her matter without both sides.”

“If the PHA or the Ministry of Health owes her members some funds, only way I can resolve it is to get both sides to agree to the payments so that we can move forward from there,” he added.

Pinder further expressed that he thought it was wise to meet as early as Friday of last week to have both sides agree to a settlement so that doctors can head back to work. 

There is a meeting scheduled this morning at 10 a.m. at the Department of Labour to determine the way forward. 

Outstanding holiday pay is at the crux of the union’s grievances. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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