Doctors’ strike swells
by Trevor YearwoodDOCTORS yesterday spread their protest action to polyclinics, district, geriatric and psychiatric hospitals.
The development, announced by Dr Carlos Chase, president of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), came following comments made by chairman of the board of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Reverend Guy Hewitt, about doctors on a television programme last Sunday night.
Yesterday, at the QEH, where members of BAMP started the cutback on their services last weekend, there was postponed and delayed treatment of patients.
Polyclinics faced an additional workload yesterday, as patients moved around looking for treatment.
Last Friday, BAMP announced that its members would only be handling emergency cases at the QEH, after the termination of the contract of radiologist Dr Cecil Rambarat, who had been with the hospital for 15 years.
Yesterday, the association announced that it was extending the action to other health care institutions.
Announcing the further action, BAMP’s president said he was deeply “saddened and disappointed” with what he termed “the inflammatory and insulting comments” made by the board chairman.
Speaking on CBC-TV’s The People’s Business, Hewitt underscored the importance of settling the QEH/BAMP row soon.
“It cannot be for the expediency of just saying: ‘If you don’t give in as a board, we are going to withhold our service’,” he said.
“We know that what the Barbadian public is looking for is what the board is also looking for, and we are therefore hopefully going to get this matter resolved in the greater interest.
“And, hopefully, BAMP will recognise that it has a role in healthcare which is beyond just satisfying its professional needs and will come back to the table and sit down and start to work towards the public’s good.”
Chase said that since the start of the industrial action, BAMP had seen no official response from Minister of Health Donville Inniss, or any correspondence from the QEH’s board. He said BAMP regretted having to expand the action.