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BAMP up to challenges

Wade Gibbons

BAMP up to challenges

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THE BARBADOS ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS (BAMP) is moving to mobilise its membership.This comes just weeks after a senior official at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) said that the medical facility could not operate as it had done in the past.Last month, the official publicly accused the QEH’s medical consultants of irregular attendance at public clinics; showing a preference for doing private cases as opposed to public ones; and giving priority to private patients who paid large sums of money; among other claims.The official revealed then that consultants made a minimum of $350 000 annually when their private practice and public functions were combined.In a paid advertisement on July 2, BAMP responded to the allegations by outlining several functions which consultants carried out. However, the release did not address the accusation that medical consultants showed a preference for private work. In correspondence to members dated July 7, a copy of which the SATURDAY SUN obtained yesterday, BAMP president Dr Carlos Chase acknowledged that “we face challenges to our profession in the public sector”.He noted that BAMP had come to that conclusion after meeting with representatives from all the polyclinics who were “facing major challenges”.Chase also indicated BAMP’s paid public response to accusations from within the QEH’s hierarchy “did not address all of the comments” ventilated in the June 28 publication of the NATION newspaper. Chase had initially declined to respond when contacted by the NATION.“Please understand that we have consulted with advisors and a strategy has been outlined which we are following,” Chase wrote to members.There have been suggestions in some quarters that BAMP does not represent the majority of local doctors. and in his letter to members Chase made an appeal to practitioners to update their membership.“I ask that our members who may have neglected to regularise their membership of BAMP to please do so as a matter of urgency, especially those members in the public sector,” he said.The relationship between BAMP and the QEH recently soured after the latter publicly advertised for a consultant urologist and pathologist. A QEH official said then that consultants had been ruling the hospital for too long.The official indicated there were Barbadian urologists based overseas who would like to return home to be considered but were afraid of “the system” at the QEH.Referring to a situation last year with a pile-up of bodies at the mortuary because autopsies were not being done, the senior official said Barbados deserved better than that.