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QEH tells BAMP: Let us talk!


Marlon Madded

QEH tells BAMP: Let us talk!

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Chief executive officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Dexter James, is asking the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) to meet again with the hospital’s board.
James’ plea came against the background of Tuesday’s walkout by doctors from a meeting that was to discuss a number of issues, including the finalization of the performance appraisal system.
At that time James said that the doctors’ walkout suggested they were solely interested in financial benefits.
However, during a Press briefing yesterday in the QEH’s boardroom, James said he was very interested in the finalization of the performance appraisal system and would appreciate if BAMP would come back for them to deal with it.
“We would ask BAMP to reconsider its position and meet with us to finalize the performance appraisal system. From where we sit, it is in fact a very progressive instrument [which requires] very little modification to contextualize it to our own situation. We could have a very formidable instrument that would allow us to value and evaluate employee efforts,” he said.
“The instruments we have in place are not as robust as one would expect to evaluate physicians. So I think that while we have the time, this is an instrument that we should try to finalize and try to have it implemented so that we now have a way in which we could objectively assess our physicians,” explained James.
He further maintained that the terms and conditions put forward by BAMP in Tuesday’s meeting suggested that all they wanted to discuss was “compensation”.
He described the terms and conditions as unreasonable.
“This is not the time to talk about new terms and conditions for public sector employees. Simply because the whole question of affordability comes into question . . . . We are not saying that it is not something we would not consider [but] the timing is just bad,” argued James.
He said the hospital was currently spending about $2.6 million in gratuity to physicians per year and if they were to “accede to the recommendations of BAMP” it would cost the institution about $6.5 million.
James further noted that, in any case, the Ministry of Health had advised them that any changes to terms and conditions relating to employees of the QEH must be finalized by the Ministry of the Civil Service.

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