Barbados News Media Refuse To Cover NUPW Press Release About Queen Elizabeth Hospital Doctors

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom

Working Conditions At Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital - QEH washroom photo from an earlier Barbados Free Press story - click photo to read.

Editor’s Note: The below was anonymously submitted to Barbados Free Press. If any of our readers have any reason to question its authenticity or the accuracy of anything it says, please speak up. That’s how we fact-check at BFP: we encourage our readers to become involved.

Thanks!

Robert.

Here it is as we received it, with the introductory paragraph…

The following is a Press Release concerning conditions affecting the Junior Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was submitted to the Print Media in Barbados by The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) on 2009-February 9. The Print Media has refused to carry it in whole or in part. The release was suppressed. It was apparently not considered important enough to be newsworthy. If you disagree (and I really hope you do), please feel free to pass it on via E-mail, Facebook, Myspace, MSN etc. The TRUTH must be told!

Conditions Facing Junior Doctors at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Q.E.H.)

The Junior Doctors of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are amongst the most hardworking and dedicated Civil Servants in the country. However the conditions under which they work are less than ideal and in many cases appalling.

Juniors Doctors make up the majority of doctors working at the Hospital. They are not allowed to have private patients or to charge any individuals fees for their services (either inside or outside the Hospital).

The term Junior Doctor is a very misleading one and must be clearly defined before we progress further. A Junior Doctor simply put is any doctor employed at the Hospital who is not a Consultant. This group encompasses House Officers (Interns) who have recently graduated and Senior Registrars, who hold post-graduate qualifications and are eligible to be appointed as Consultants should a vacancy arise. They are many other doctors who are between these two extremes included in this group. It is important to emphasize that the term Junior Doctor does not mean a young, inexperienced doctor or unskilled doctor.

Consultants are the leaders of the clinical team. They conduct ward rounds and provide invaluable input and guidance into the management of individual cases. Often the consultant’s directives are carried out by the Junior Doctors. These directives can range from simply carrying out various blood tests to performing complex surgical or invasive procedures.

It is therefore obvious that the Junior Doctors are a highly skilled, valuable and integral part of the clinical team and essential to the optimal functioning of the hospital. Currently the Junior Doctors at the Q.E.H. are working under very demanding and trying circumstances yet continue to give of their best.

Many Junior Doctors work seven (7) days a week and some are on call every third day (mainly in the Department of General Surgery). Rarely they can be on call on alternate days. When on call these doctors are responsible for providing care to inpatients as well as dealing with ALL emergency cases for a period of 24 hours. When “on call” finishes, these doctors are then required to work their regular working day. This results in many doctors working (and being in the Hospital) for 36 consecutive hours. Total working time often exceed 120 hours per week.

It is of note that most hospitals (including many in the Caribbean) have moved away from this system recognizing that it is exceedingly burdensome on the doctors.More importantly it may be dangerous to patients’ wellbeing because of the increase in medical errors that occur. Hospitals throughout the world (especially in Europe & U.S.A.) have actually limited the amount of hours a doctor can work to approximately 70 hours per week. Doctors can be (and have been) removed from hospital premises by security if found to be in contravention of this policy.

The working hours are but one of the Junior Doctors many concerns. Appropriate accommodation is another pressing concern of the Junior Doctors. There is not enough space for all of the Junior Doctors required to be on-call and in the hospital in any one night. This has resulted in some doctors having to sleep in chairs and on broken couches in plain view of each other in the Doctors’ Lounge. (Please also note here that the door to the Doctors’ Lounge does not have a functioning lock and thus free access to the area is open to all and sundry at ANYTIME throughout the day or night)

Even more worrying is that even with these makeshift sleeping arrangements, there is not enough room for all the Junior Doctors on-call and some have been forced to resort to sleeping in their cars. Clearly one can see this is an inherently dangerous and undesirable situation. Many cars have been broken into, including those of doctors on the Hospital premises.

To make matters worse the Junior Doctors are not provided with warm water in any part of their lounge and are therefore forced to shower in ice-cold water at all hours of the day and night.

The Junior Doctors Lounge is itself woefully inadequate. There are broken chairs and couches strewn throughout and there is not enough space for the over 150 Junior Doctors employed at the Hospital. Up to last year the doctors were competing for the sparse space in the lounge with an infestation of rats.

Also worrying is the fact that there is no canteen facility available for the doctors (or any of the Hospital staff for that matter). In essence, what this means is that The Junior Doctors are essentially forced to order in fast food or go for prolonged periods without eating. Doctors are consuming the same sugary and fatty foods that they tell their patients to avoid.

It is the norm that in hospitals of this size which by necessity are open 24 hours that there is a canteen catering to staff (and visitors) that is also open 24 hours a day. For example Kingston Public Hospital (in Jamaica) has facilities whereby an on-call doctor is provided with lunch, dinner and then breakfast the next day! The cafeteria at the QEH has been closed for years and all hopes of it being re-opened were dashed when they decided to use the existing space for a new clinic.

These are just a few of the many challenges that the Junior Doctors are facing. The logical question which begs to be asked is “What have the Junior Doctors’ done to improve their situation.” All of the aforementioned issues have been brought to the attention of the Hospital’s Administration. Despite being in constant negotiations with the Hospital Administration, the Junior Doctors have received little more than empty promises of improvement which have up to this time failed to materialize and conditions have continued to deteriorate rapidly.

The Junior Doctors perhaps have the worst physical amenities of any group employed to the Q.E.H. The conditions are certainly not up to the standard that trained professionals in ANY OTHER field (here or abroad) would expect or tolerate.

In terms of remuneration and compensation, the Juniors Doctors at the Q.E.H. are earning the lowest when compared to their counterparts in the Caribbean performing similar roles, our Junior Doctors are however working the longest hours in the worst physical surroundings.

The doctors at the QEH are at their ‘wits end’. They work ridiculous hours and are still expected to function. They have to sleep at the hospital but there is no where adequate to sleep (if they get to sleep at all); they have to eat but there is no food and on top of that, they have to bathe at the hospital but they have to do so in cold water! These doctors give their hearts and souls to their profession. All they are asking for is a salary commensurate with their hard work, improved working conditions and an environment that fosters morale and not discontentment.

In spite of the many challenges and difficulties facing the Junior Doctors they are committed to giving of their best. They love their jobs. All of them accept that some personal sacrifice is necessary by the nature of the practice of Medicine. They however remain hopeful that some improvements can be made to this untenable situation they find themselves in, before they transition from being doctors to patients.

Further Reading

Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

49 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Consumer Issues, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Health, News Media

49 responses to “Barbados News Media Refuse To Cover NUPW Press Release About Queen Elizabeth Hospital Doctors

  1. Hants

    Uh wunda ef de got hot water at Kensington Oval an up at Dodds.

    Gi OSA de fahda uh firs wirl babadus a call cause he see thru de problems at de QEH but en do nutten.

    mebbe he cuh make anur $150000 donation caus it kyan brek he.

    This has been a FREE comment by a DLP supporter and BFP is in no way responsible.

  2. J

    Dear BFP: You wrote “The following is a Press Release concerning conditions affecting the Junior Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was submitted to the Print Media in Barbados by The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) on 2009-February 9.”

    AND

    “The above was anonymously submitted to Barbados Free Press. If any of our readers have any reason to question its authenticity, please speak up. That’s how we fact-check at BFP: we encourage our readers to become involved.”

    So which one is true? Is the statement from the NUPW or is it from an anonymous source?

    Once you clarify I will comment?

    Some of my nearest and dearest are junior doctors and I am interested in their welfare.

    ******************

    BFP says,

    Hi J,

    I see your confusion over what BFP wrote and what was sent to us. We’ll clarify that right now.

    We’re not professional writers and we rely upon our readers to point out our errors.

    Thanks for the assistance!

    Robert

  3. J

    OK Robert you can now deposit $100 to my Swiss bank account.

    Professional fee you know.

  4. Kaishaza

    Hmmm. Interesting to see that if this is true, working conditions have not improved, and may actually be slightly worse than when I was a junior doctor at QEH over 10 years ago. Now I am in the U.S. where the professional environment is great, but I would love to come back and contribute to medicine in my own country. Of course, the problem is, how to do that without losing my mind…..And by the way, it is not about money. Any doctor who leaves the USA or UK to come back to the Caribbean is prepared for a drastic cut in pay. The biggest area of concern is the working environment, and believe me, the physical infrastructure is just a small part of that. I guess that would be another article, especially since health care professionals must take some responsibility for other aspects of a negative working environment. Will see what’s happening when I am back in Barbados in a few weeks!

  5. Sargeant

    The conditions seem to be deplorable and I seem to recall there were also some issues with work conditions for the “junior doctors” under the BLP. But are you sure this is a news release from the NUPW? Is this the same NUPW that was prepared to lead or follow the Sanitation workers through the door when they were going to lay down their tools because the Board wanted to cut their boss loose due to alleged financial improprieties?

    I think a “junior doctor” decided enough was enough and penned his own “news release” because if the NUPW were willing to support the Sanitation workers over the Alleyne fiasco you can bet they will do the same for the “junior doctors” it all has to do with the Bajan “pecking order”.

    BTW why do they call all the medical personnel at different skill levels “junior doctors”? Why not call them “interns, registrars” etc. If I am being treated at a hospital and I asked the person treating me if he/she is a doctor and they replied that they are a “junior doctor”. I would request a senior doctor forthwith.

    The public should be alarmed if the situation is as reported we all would prefer to be treated by happy and contented doctors not disgruntled ones.

  6. J

    I know a teeny, little bit about media relations. If this press release was submitted on Mnday 5th February please tell me on which date theprint media “refused” to carry it? Since press releases are run in the newspapers free as a public service, the papers print them on a space available basis. They well not have printed this yet.

    However I smell a rat. The language of this “press release” does not strike me as the language of a professional organiztion such as the NUPW.

    And besides the NUPW does not have to depend on press release. The NUPW can affrod paid ads; and also much of what the NUPW says and does is legitimately news so the NUPW regularly gains media attention without paid ads and without “press releases”

    This sounds much like the language of an unhappy young doctor or his/her friends.

    However if conditions are as bad as related here then that is a very bad thing.

    ****************

    BFP says

    Hi J.

    I would think that if it is not a press release as stated then NUPW will probably let us know. Considering we have more traffic than any other Barbados website including the Nation and the Barbados Advocate, someone who can confirm or deny the origin will probably be contacting us. It would be a shame if it wasn’t a press release as said because it makes many valid points – but if it was sent to us deceptively, we’ll pull it for sure.

    Thanks to our readers for assisting in fact checking.

  7. Checkin-out

    BFP

    Was it an NUPW press release or was it an anonymous letter which BFP intercepted? It is unlikely to be both. Your comment above does not really clarify this.

    The style does not look like an NUPW press release. rather it looks like a genuine statement from a Junior Doctor or someone close to a junior doctor, writing on the Junior doctors’ behalf.

    Could you tell us how you know that It was sent by NUPW to the print media for publication?

    How do you know, if it was indeed sent to the Print Media, that the delay in publication is not because the Print Media Houses are checking the facts to ensure that they have it right? Unlike you, they have a serious responsibility to do thorough fact checking.

    On the surface, It appears to me to be probably a true description of the plight of the Junior doctors at the QEH and suggests that something should be done quickly to improve their conditions, especially their hours of work.

    Could some of the money allotted for CLICO support be used for this? Since fixing of this problem is likely to be quite costly what are the areas you would suggest should be cut or scaled back by Government to right this wrong?

    BTW, are you suggesting through the picture above, that it shows a typical washroom that is being used by the Junior Doctors and others ?

    **********************

    BFP says,

    You didn’t bother to read the story of the washroom, did you?

    And our comments indicate that we don’t KNOW it is an official press release. That’s why we’re asking our readers about it.

    Yes the oldstream newspapers take their time to fact check. They have been “fact checking” the Ronja Juman story for almost three years now! LOL.

    Look for a story about Ronja Juman and how a woman’s rights were violated by police and the prosecutor and the Chief Justice.

  8. D Insomniac

    A cold shower will not kill and could be fun if you get someone to share it with you.
    Bring to work your own lunch.

    If you have to work back to back shifts without adequate rest………. call in sick like most people.

    Junior Doctors have to break for themselves.

  9. Cocoa

    just a lil toss up… Nurses from St. Vincent are here in Barbados to start orientation on Monday, starting work at the QEH by March 2nd 2009.

  10. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    I will not even try to understand why or how the QEH got in that mess. But I will say that night does only last as long till day catch up wid it.

  11. Sad To Say

    The QEH will always be the QEH and with the prevailing economic conditions the junior doctors are unlikely to see an increase in their salary or improvement in their working conditions within the next two years.

  12. yatinkiteasy

    I feel sorry for the doctors, but what about patients?
    Even in the “private rooms”, there is only cold water…a nurse will bring some hot water if begged, (like they did in the 1800`s)..family have to supply toilet paper, and if one stays late with a seriously ill patient, there is nothing to eat or drink available. And our Politicians like to boast of Barbados being a “developed” as opposed to “third World” Country.
    What a joke!
    QEH is a disgusting, filthy place, where, if you stay in too long, you have a good chance of dying!

  13. passing thru

    “QEH is a disgusting, filthy place, where, if you stay in too long, you have a good chance of dying!”

    Amen to that!

  14. Hants

    Anybody want to donate some solar water heaters?

    QEH needs some rich friends just like the hospitals in Canada.

    The quality Hospitals we “Canadians” allude to have Rich people who donate millions.

    They also have lotteries to boost their revenue.
    Don’t have to be only in canader eh!

    http://www.pmhf.ca/Pages/Lotteries/

    http://lottery2.heartandstroke.on.ca/w09/

    Maybe we should learn from the Canadians.

  15. Hants

    Anybody want to donate some solar water heaters?

    QEH needs some rich friends just like the hospitals in Canada.

    The quality Hospitals we “Canadians” allude to have Rich people who donate millions.

    They also have lotteries to boost their revenue.

    Don’t have to be only in canader eh!

  16. Checkin-out

    BFP

    re. your response above. Your chapeau to the bfp article said “The following is a Press Release concerning conditions affecting the Junior Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was submitted to the Print Media in Barbados by The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) on 2009-February 9. The Print Media has refused to carry it in whole or in part. The release was suppressed. It was apparently not considered important enough to be newsworthy. If you disagree (and I really hope you do), please feel free to pass it on via E-mail, Facebook, Myspace, MSN etc. The TRUTH must be told!”

    Your other comment was “Hi J, I see your confusion over what BFP wrote and what was sent to us. We’ll clarify that right now. We’re not professional writers and we rely upon our readers to point out our errors. Thanks for the assistance! Robert”

    How do these earlier statements clarify that you did’nt know if it was an official press release? That statement in response to my comment is the first time you admit that you don’t know if it was an official press release. Also it does’nt at all clarify if the main point in your article is factual, i.e., that an NUPW press release was submitted to the print media and disregarded.

    Anyhow, It is quite evident that the statement was not an official NUPW press release hence I think you really need to let your readers know that it is really an anonymous letter you got which relates to atrocious conditions at the QEH for Junior Doctors. The letter quite likely accurately describes existing conditions.

    Where do you and we go from here? What strategy should the Junior Doctors use to get their greviances righted? Can NUPW do anything about it? If they, can how do the fourth and fifth estates get them to do what is necessary? How much would it cost Government to correct the situation? What should the Ministry of Health or the Government or the people of Barbados give up to correct the situation where funds are very limiting?

    Re. the picture, I do’nt think it was appropriate for this specific problem.

    Re. the Ronja Juman story, I’ve read it and have been horrified by the “facts” given there, some of which seem to be quite likely true but cannot be checked. Therein lies the value and danger of these blogs.

    &****************

    BFP says

    The facts of the Ronja Juman story are posted on our website, including the phony blank search warrant.

    The fact that the “news media” has never copied the warrant and thrown it before the Prosecutor is the worst indictment of the Barbados media I can think of. The Barbados news media are nothing more than an arm of whatever government is in place. They are despicable pretenders.

  17. PiedPiper

    I would be curious to know if and how many philanthropic donations are made to the QEH and then, what percentage of those donations actually makes it to the QEH. We have already seen enough examples of donations that go to various causes that somehow “disappear” or get tiefed. Without any oversite, philanthropic donations will not flood in.
    I would also be curious to know if any of the proceeds of lottery sales in Barbados are used for charitable donations towards social causes such as the QEH and again, is any of the money actually going to those causes instead of some insider at the lottery corporation.
    Sadly, I suspect many Junior Doctors will leave Barbados for better pay and better working conditions in other countries and who would blame them. Altruistic sentiments, toward a country that will not support your endeavors, will not pay your bills or make you feel proud of the work you do in the name of your country.

  18. Watchman

    The headline of this article needs to be changed. Stop misleading the public for the sake of “ratings” and conspiracy, idiots.

  19. Hants

    @ Watchman

    The headline does not matter.

    We are FREE to comment and or provide information to prove if BFP are in your words, “Idiots”.

    Fact. A few years ago I visited the QEH saw a few things that could be corrected.
    I am just a layman. Not a hospital administrator.

    A lack of waste bins in public areas.Therefore people threw their candy wrappers etc. on the ground.

    Walls badly needing to be painted.

    Inadequate lighting.

    A generally depressing environment to work in.

    It is unfortunate we are in a recession and building a second new Hospital is not possible.

    A $50 million renovation will be an interim solution.

  20. reality check

    pied piper

    ‘I would also be curious to know if any of the proceeds of lottery sales in Barbados are used for charitable donations towards social causes such as the QEH and again, is any of the money actually going to those causes instead of some insider at the lottery corporation.’

    How would we ever know? There is no transparency in Barbados and those in charge are hiding and or silent. No one is accountable.

  21. Sargeant

    PP

    I’ve heard of instances where donated equipment and goods to various institutions in Barbados including the QEH has languished at the Port because duty has been assessed and the recipients don’t want to pay.

    I suppose the donor should also send a cheque to cover the customs duty.

  22. PiedPiper

    You would think that charitable donations, especially those designated to an ailing hospital, would be duty free. I’m sorry to say this but I think Barbados is beyond redemption. It doesn’t seem to matter who is in power BLP/DLP, it’s all the same shite. The entire political system in Barbados has perpetrated a fraud on the people it supposedly represents.
    If you remove the thin veneer of civility, under which Barbados government conducts itself, it is no better than some despotic countries ruled by dictators. How can a forward thinking country that prides itself on moderization, high education standards and a tourism sector that caters to the wealthy have ONE hospital that is a HOVEL?
    Government needs to get it’s priorities straight and sooner than later. Do Barbadian politicians think that civil unrest is not possible in little law-abiding Barbados. They need to think again and look to Caribbean neighbors such as Grenada, Martinique and Antigua where the people have gone out on strike and in protest of government corruption. People will only tolerate just so much and Bajans need to get over their ingrained sense of propriety and respect for law and order. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
    It is a viscious cycle where the best of the best, the cream of the Barbados education system, doctors, nurses, lawyers, educators, scientists, etc. leave Barbados for greener pastures and all this talent and brain power that Barbados could be making good use of……..gone.
    Government and politicians in Barbados are good at spin doctoring, always pushing the propoganda that Barbados is a progressive country, that it has a high profile in the Caribbean and the rest of the world as a successful and democratic country, that it has one of the highest literacy rates in the world…..blah blah blah. The peoples minds have been hamstrung by this brain washing. It’s all part of the agenda to keep people mollified in this belief so that they behave like sheep.

  23. Sargeant

    PP

    Despotic is a harsh word which I don’t think applies to Barbados. What happens in Barbados is no one wants to accept change, its “we will continue to do it the way we’ve always done it” case closed; they are all bound up in red tape and bureaucracy. So if a charitable donation is forwarded and the regulations state that equipment of this nature is subject to duty, no one thinks outside the box and waives the duty. (Don’t get me started on if acknowledgements are ever sent to the donors).

    I don’t share your sentiment that many of the best people leave, sure some of them do but many others are aware of the shortcomings and choose to stay since they earn a decent salary, have comfortable homes, and enjoy decent weather and professional success.

    After all it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than be a minnow in a wide ocean.

    .

  24. Watchman

    HANTS, will you WAKE UP?!! You are such an apologist for BFP I am beginning to think that anyone can control your mind with airy fairy subterfuge. What are you, 10?

    The headline MATTERS. Do you have even the slightest understanding of what accuracy, facts and proof mean in the media? Or is that not important in life as long as it is BFP?

    Sweet Jesus!

  25. Hants

    @ Watchman

    Media? This is a blog. There are no rules that require any standard of journalism.

    Just so you know watchman, “MIA has given birth to a baby boy”.

    http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/node/149182

  26. Watchman

    So blogs aren’t media?

    Media = Journalism to you?

    There are no rules requiring accurate standards on blogs – yet in public you can’t say whatever you want with your mouth if it is inaccurate because you can be sued.

    Father God. I am finished.

    Too f*king ignorant!!!!

    *************************

    BFP says,

    Perhaps it would be a good start if you held the oldstream Barbados news media like the Nation and CBC to the same standards for headlines that you would like to see at Barbados Free Press.

    For instance…

    When the Nation stated “New Protocol For Reporting Child Abuse” when there is no new protocol. That headline was a lie.

    Perhaps you could write them a letter!

  27. Hants

    Now that I have managed to really upset Watchman can you respond to him about his post which I placed below…

    Watchman
    February 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm
    The headline of this article needs to be changed. Stop misleading the public for the sake of “ratings” and conspiracy, idiots.

    lmho.

  28. J

    Dear Pied Piper you wrote ” Bajans need to get over their ingrained sense of propriety and respect for law and order. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

    You would like to stay up in Canada and see us descend into incivility won’t you?

    It won’t happen.

    Get lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ya foolish shite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. J

    Dear Pied Piper and BFP:

    I sitting here with ALL my windows and doors wide open.

    Can you do the same wherever in Canada you are?

    Did you read the Toronto Star today? A sick old man dies in a filthy, cockroach and bedbug ridden HOVEL. And nobody finds his body for a WEEK. Nobody ain’t even look or call for a week or more including his step-sister who now complaining. If she know that her stepbrother is a half-foolish alcoholic idiot how come she ain’t call or look for he for a week or more? She ain’t call and nobody else ain’t look nor call either.

    Some of us know that Canada ain’t no land of milk and honey.

    Barbados despotic what?????

    Get lost again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. PiedPiper

    J: In many ways you are so predictable. Despite the fact that you believe you are calm and cool living in paradise and you will not broach any criticism of your “paradise”, it is apparent that you are anything but “calm and cool”. Your standard response to anything you disagree with is to lower yourself to name caling and telling people to get out of the blog. Darlin, you haven’t the right to tell anyone to get out. I find most of your posts of the same vein, sarcastic, bombastic and pointless yet, up until now, I ignore them and see no point in acknowledging you. If others wish to, that is their perogative.
    Nowhere in my post do I refer to Canada as a “land of milk and honey” nor would you ever see me do so. J, you are a classic example of the type of Bajan I refer to as “sheep”. You all have a whole lot of long TALK on the blogs, in the gaps, on the call-in radio programs but when it comes to DOING something what do you do? Nothing that is what.
    Here in Canada which,is far from perfect, if we as a people become angry with the decisions our government makes or perceived lack of action on the part of that government, we take up our placards and our bullhorns and we march in the streets straight to Parliament Hill and even tek on the police to excercise our democratic rights. Can you say the same of Barbados? Don’t pull your patiotic crap with me…..what do you have to be patriotic about? Decades of corrupt governments who make money disappear as tho by magic, rampant patronage and the awarding of fat lucrative contracts to each other, no accountability to the constituents and on and on. Barbados is decending down the ladder of progress and it’a people appear quite happy to let it happen all in the name of civility which is a yoke around the nation’s neck.

  31. J

    Dear Pied Piper:

    I love Barbados.

    I love Canada.

    I love the truth better than I love either place.

    I don’t love you at all.

  32. Stuart

    The JDA, is an association of junior doctors which normally would come under BAMP[doctor trade union run by medical consultants], but JDA being unhappy that their specific needs were not being addressed seeked representation from NUPW, since they already represent most QEH staff. Thus, answers the JDA-NUPW connection

  33. Foolbert

    It would seem that Junior Doctors are on their own, with little or no representation from BAMP or NUPW.
    Why would this state of affairs exist, if the hospital cannot function without them?

  34. Georgie Porgie

    Foolbert, you have asked a very good question.
    Perhaps the answer is that
    1- interns need to keep thier jobs so that they can get signed up by thier consultants so that they can be fully registered/licensed. Interns only have a provisional registration.
    2- senior “junior” doctors need thier hospital jobs so that they can complete the requirements to register to take thier post graduate exams.
    3- they are waiting for consultants to die or resign so that they can become consultants.

    I have no doubt that the contents of the letter published above are true, because I experienced much of what is written when I was an intern 30 years ago- except that it seems that things have got much more.

    It is mind boggling to me that that BU was able to run two long threads complaining that local doctors dont do enough for the populace, and that they sell samples etc, but when the situation arises to highlight the plight of the junior doctors at QEH, they are as silent as the mainline press on this important subject.

    JUNIOR DOCTORS DESERVE BETTER

  35. Checkin-out

    CBC had a news item on this matter tonight. It would appear, reading between the lines, that the letter was indeed leaked by a Junior Doctor or one of their supporters. NUPW is involved but does not appear to be the source of the anonymous letter. Any bets that after thorough research, the print media will ventilate the matter?

  36. SimpleJoe

    Whether or not the article comes from NUPW or the sick person in the hospital bed,or the “junior” doctor, or the senior doctor. If the conditions are true, as alot of you tend to agree, that it is entirely possible for to be true. Then before the patients suffer, and the hospital suffer more and the little people and dont even say the tourist, go to the hopsital and collapse on the floor lets get some things corect. One of the doctor give them the wrong injection or perform the wrong surgery, we need to get the authorities to investigate this matter, and find a resolution along with fixes before it literally causes death.
    Make the phone calls, call in the radio, write editorials in the paper cause we all know someone that is in the hospital in some form or fashion. Lets give this the thought and consideration that is needs, cause if we all end up in the hospital together they might not be anyone to help us walk out.

  37. Hants

    Condolences to the family.

    Short story writer, radio producer, columnist, magazine editor, poet, playwright and novelist Jeannette Layne-Clarke passed away this morning after a battle with cancer.

    I enjoyed her Bajan writings.

  38. Sargeant

    @Hants

    Re Ms Layne-Clarke

    I endorse your notes of appreciation, perhaps BFP should start a separate thread where bloggers could comment.

  39. Sargeant

    @GP

    • JUNIOR DOCTORS DESERVE BETTER
    **************************************************
    So you are surprised and frustrated that more attention hasn’t been paid to the plight of the “junior doctors”. Well you shouldn’t be, to become a doctor in Barbados is seen as the pinnacle of academic and professional success. It is seen as a gateway to financial success and the elevation of one’s social status. It is the fulfillment of some parent’s hopes and aspirations. If the “junior doctors” are encountering difficulties at an early stage of their careers the average bajan is likely to say “ who cares dey bread butter wid ham”.

    The “junior doctors” are caught between a rock and a hard place. Their professional Association which should be looking after their rights are more concerned with the rights of their senior colleagues (Consultants), the NUPW to whom they turned seems to be lukewarm to their plight at best and if they withhold their services they are likely to face academic sanctions that can threaten their careers.

    Hopefully the new Minister will show some leadership and try to rectify some of the outstanding issues.

  40. Stuart

    The fact remains that things are still a mess at QEH, despite having a change of Gov’ts, change of Ministers, and then a change in the CEO, two questions come to mind.
    1. Since the change in Gov’t, why has the NUPW that was shouting everyday about the working conditions of QEH workers not been vocal on these issues since Jan.15th 2008? [Party Loyality?]
    2. When entering the position of QEH CEO, the 2 former CEO’s were show in all forms of Media, since the last CEO was fired, who is now running the QEH and why hasnt the public been told of the “new” CEO?

    Most doctors try their best at QEH, but the conditions, politricks, and redtape would kill anyone spirit and drive to work.

    To end with a story of tricks involved, saw in the media the new minister had said that QEH was introducing a “new” pain managment unit, and made it out to be new to bds, and with the help of some foreigner(s) it would be a big help to bds……..I was speaking to a doctor who no longer works in bds, who told me before this story was out, how he introduce a pain management unit at QEH about 12yrs ago and when he left it was discontinued, why must we always get someone from outside how best to do something, and why do we never finish what we start in Barbados?

  41. Georgie Porgie

    No Sargeant. I am neither suprised or frustrated. As soon as I finished my internship I left that situation.

    The other thing that folk dont realize is that doctors who work for the Government work by contract; they are not appointed. Consequently, they can be fired at the whim of the Minister of Health and his/her cohorts; with no real recourse.

    Bajans dont really care about the hospital or hospital doctors until they have need of them.

  42. Georgie Porgie

    @ Stuart
    Re I was speaking to a doctor who no longer works in bds, who told me before this story was out, how he introduce a pain management unit at QEH about 12yrs ago and when he left it was discontinued, why must we always get someone from outside how best to do something, and why do we never finish what we start in Barbados?

    Your friend who introduce a pain management unit at QEH about 12yrs ago must have been extremely persuasive and dedicated to be sussessful in even achieving that feat.

    It was probably discontinued when he left, because there was no one dedicated enough to carry it on, or more likely because he would get the ongoing credit for its initiation.

    Now that it might be forgotten by most, or perhaps few knew of it, some one in “favour” will get it off the ground again and ascribe the idea, the success and the glory to themselves.

  43. J

    Dear Georgie Porgie you wrote “It was probably discontinued when he left, because there was no one dedicated enough to carry it on, or more likely because he would get the ongoing credit for its initiation. Now that it might be forgotten by most, or perhaps few knew of it, some one in “favour” will get it off the ground again and ascribe the idea, the success and the glory to themselves.”

    Are you seriously telling me that our doctors on whose education we spend so much money are so petty?

    Are our doctors requires to take any ethics courses?

    Have any of them ever gone to Sunday school? Or were they too busy studying to be doctors?

  44. Georgie Porgie

    I certainly went to Sunday school up until I was about 22. In my time at UWI there were no Ethics course. Dont know what transpires there now.

    Re Are you seriously telling me that our doctors on whose education we spend so much money are so petty?

    YES. Our doctors, like many other leaders in our society are very petty.

  45. yatinkiteasy

    I seem to remember an article in the press a few years ago, with photos, of a fellow , who , of his own interest, and from his own pocket, started to paint the sidewalls of the driveways in the QEH front entrance…it looked so nice and clean…almost like a Hospital Entrance…and then he was stopped and banned by the powers that be…why? Was he destroying or defacing property?..Perhaps he was just showing what one guy with a bucket of paint and a paintbrush could do to spruce things up…no million dollar contracts with no “commisions” being paid…
    He simply made the authorities look stupid and they did not like it.

    God bless him for his effort.

  46. Pingback: Time For The Semi-Annual “Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Needs A Cafeteria” Story « Barbados Free Press

  47. Maryann

    I believe that the QEH will always have problems unless management and workers are seen as a part of the team. Communication is a major problem, some of senior managers believe that they are running their personal home. Information is withheld and there is little or no entegrity.
    Patients are afraid to complain . Some of the staff are extremely rude to patients.
    Perhaps it is necessary to have everyone sign a sheet which would outline how they should behave towards the internal and external customers. there should be close monitoring and sanctions enforced as necessary

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