Categorized | National News


They have remained quiet for weeks now, but members of  the Consultant Physician Staff Association (CPSA) have  by no means reneged on their  threat to strike amid longstanding grievances with the Public Hospital’s Authority (PHA).

Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands, said he finds this somewhat disappointing considering the PHA has engaged the CPSA and two have reportedly negotiated in good faith.

“Certainly, it would be a tragedy if patients in the Bahamas find themselves in a situation where essential care is withdrawn, that would be most unfortunate.

“And so we continue to be prepared to sit at the table to negotiate to improve in a substantial way, the terms and conditions of service for physicians which has been a challenge for the last decade,” said Dr. Sands.

The Minister said he believes the Public Hospitals Authority  management and board are quite willing to make a very generous offer, but by the same token, that offer cannot be made in isolation. 

“It has to be something that the people of The Bahamas and the public hospitals authority can afford. 

“It would be unreasonable to make a commitment that cannot be met by the public purse and by extension cannot be met by the people of The Bahamas,” he said.

The Minister promises though that the government and the PHA will do their very best to make an offer that’s fair, reasonable and sustainable.

“Let me simply say again that the Public Hospitals Authority is prepared to make a fair and reasonable offer to all of the professionals who provide service to the Bahamian people in the delivery of health care services.

“Anything else would prejudice the negotiations and I’m not prepared to do that,” said the Minister. 

The PHA, in a statement said it was advised that the CPSA has gone on record to forecast a withdrawal of services due to their perception that the negotiation meeting held on Friday was “not productive.” 

The PHA said it wishes to reiterate for the record that the Authority has continued to negotiate in good faith with the CPSA, offering significant improvements in existing benefits. 

The authority added that is satisfied in the fact that it has done everything on its part to move negotiations forward, while also addressing specific concerns levelled by the CPSA regarding working conditions at the institutions. 

“The Authority has given significant attention to the needs of all of its locations and has developed capital plans for each,” it said.

“Over the past several months, significant improvements to PMH facilities have been underway, including major roof repairs, interim remediation of the AC system within the Operating Theatres – which has been fully functional over past 2 months with no issues, and a major infrastructural and equipment overhaul of the Radiology Department.

“Having received and reviewed the CPSA’s proposal, the PHA has offered to establish a number of consultative committees to improve the dialogue between the parties, provided significant improvement in existing benefits to the CPSA, inclusive of medical insurance, subsidized mobile telephony, a doctors’ lounge, payment of casual mileage, access to a defined benefit contribution plan, and a pay package over the five-year period of this proposed agreement that would result in a 16.5 percent increase in base pay compensation for the CPSA members, improving their hourly base pay to an amount in excess of $56.00 per hour, which is more than double the hourly base rate paid to junior doctors. 

“Despite these generous offers, the CPSA chose to walk away from the bargaining table,” said the statement.

The PHA said it wishes to advise that in the event of a withdrawal of services by members of the Consultant Physicians Staff Association, it will take all necessary proactive measures to limit the impact on services rendered at our institutions. 

“It is the Authority’s hope that continued discussions would prove fruitful, and pave the way for future collaboration in the best interest of our clients and their loved ones.”

The PHA said it remains committed to its mandate to provide quality healthcare, which requires strategic partnerships with vendors, international agencies and labour organizations. 

The CPSA and PHA are scheduled to meet again on Friday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook