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Doctors pull back, give hospital board more time

Peebles Hospital

Peebles Hospital

Doctors have given the state-owned BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) more time to address their plight regarding ‘discrepancies’ in the payments being made to members of staff.

Vice-president of the BVI Medical Doctors Association Dr Craig Stoutt told BVI News Online that no specific time-line has been set for the BVIHSA to make a decision on the matter.

He stated that representatives of his Association yesterday presented information to more members of BVIHSA Board, supporting the doctors’ position.

The Board of the BVIHSA also met yesterday as it tried to address the longstanding issue. No resolution was reached.

After the meeting, Dr Stoutt said: “I think they will need to go through all the information that we gave them before they come to a decision about salaries and that kind of stuff. So, they haven’t come to a decision about that as yet. That will probably take some more time.”

Dr Stoutt added that it does not appear the full Board of the BVIHSA was provided with certain information that the Medical Doctors Association had presented to Chief Executive Officer of the BVIHSA Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, as well as Bishop John Cline when he was chairman of the Board.

Dr Stoutt, who said the medical practitioners have not heard from health minister Ronnie Skelton on the matter, is hoping that a member of the Medical Doctors Association will be appointed to the Bard of the BVIHSA.

“Any other medical board at any hospital in the world should actually have a representative from the medical staff on the board. We do not have that. Since we have not met with the Board, and we do not think the Chief of [Medical] Staff represents our issues well, I can’t really tell you what their attitude was before [yesterday],” Dr Stoutt further told BVI News Online.

The medical practitioners are pressing the BVIHSA for – among other things – the implementation of standardized salary scales, the payment of a standard on-call allowance, an end to late payment of gratuity, timely renewal of employment contracts, and the payment of housing allowance also to employees who are not expatriates.

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