Categorized | National News

PHA Financially Constrained

The Public Hospitals  Authority has  revealed that it  does not have the  financial capacity to meet the  demands  of   the Bahamas Doctors  Union and the Consultant Physician Staff Association.  

In a press conference on Friday past,  PHA Managing Director Catherine Weech sought to bring clarity to the walk outs staged by both the BNU and the CPSA. 

Ms. Weech  noted that the PHA continues to be fiscally challenged. 

“At present, our approved funding from the government of $216 million and our projected collections from patient revenues of $13 million still results in a $25 million shortfall of our projected operating costs for the current fiscal year of $254 million.

“Presently, Personal Emoluments which include salaries and related benefits, account for $169 million of our actual expenditure. 

“Put more simply, 80 cents of every dollar allocated to the PHA is consigned to the payment of salaries and benefits for physicians, nurses and support staff,” she said.  

Ms. Weech added that coupled with the increase in precurement of drugs, vaccines and medical supplies which accounts for another $32 million, leaves little to no room for the additional upkeep and expansion of PHA facilities.

“Many of you would be familiar with the fact that the challenged and aged infrastructure at the country’s main tertiary hospital requires immediate and ongoing repairs and upgrades so that the Public Hospitals Authority is able to deliver on its primary mandate of providing health care services to the citizens of our country.” 

“While  we  concur with the positions proffered by both the physicians and nurses that the present state of our physical plant is wanting, it is simply not sustainable to continue to expand salaries and benefits whilst neglecting our responsibilities to modernize and repair our health care facilities,” Ms. Weech said.

With regards to the  CPSA,  Ms. Weech said that while they have negotiated in good faith within the past 9 months,  conflicting schedules have resulted in them not having any further meeting. 

As for the BDU, Ms. Weech noted that the PHA is of the opinion that there are no outstanding matters relating to maternity benefits.

An invitation was extended to the BNU,  but Ms. Weech said the invitation is still awaiting a response.

She  stressed  that the PHA has always honoured existing industrial agreements and that  will not change.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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