Doctors Union President: This Is Not a Sickout, But We Won’t Put Ourselves in Harm’s Way
Just one day after Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced a minimum of 2-weeks lockdown for the country, nurses and doctors refused to show up for work and many walked off the job on Tuesday, citing lack of protocols for safety, as COVID-19 numbers continually climb.
Bahamas Doctors Union President Dr Melisande Bassett told reporters, “We are at a tipping point where our staff members have become compromised because of the overwhelming number of patients with suspected COVID symptoms presenting to A&E.”
She said all of the COVID-19 isolation rooms are occupied, therefore patients are on A&E floor.
Dr. Bassett reassured that the actions taken by nurses and doctors are not a strike.
“This is not a sickout. We want to help the Bahamian people, but we have to do it safely and sensibly. We are waiting for this situation to be rectified. Until that happens, you can’t ask anyone to put themselves in harm’s way,” she said.
Dr. Minnis, on yesterday evening, revealed that COVID-19 numbers have placed a strain on bed capacity and health workers, as a result, the 2-week lockdown was necessary.
In recent days, the country has seen massive and rapid increases in cases, with figures presently standing at 679 cases–572 active cases with 22 people in hospital.
Last month, Dr. Bassett complained that the hospital was without interns and short over 30 doctors.
She took issue with the Public Hospital Authority’s failure to complete the process for hiring new interns, saying it “has certainly put a strain on departments that are scrambling to find additional help to care for patients. Could you imagine the fallout if we have a surge of COVI-19 cases?” she asked at the time.
It is hoped that the country can get a quick and sturdy grasp of the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo Credit: Eye Witness News