The Board of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) said there is need for regular review of compensation and other employment conditions regarding healthcare workers.
It noted that those workers are part of the ‘essential services’ that should not be left open to unnecessary disruption.
Chief Executive Officer of the BVIHSA Paula Chester-Cumberbatch explained: “The Board recognises that, as an ‘essential service’, it is necessary for matters regarding health workers’ conditions of employment to be reviewed regularly, to ensure there is no negative impact on delivery of service to the community.”
Chester-Cumberbatch, in a media release, did not mention any specific case of disruption.
But, on February 20, the BVI Medical Doctors Association staged a sick out at Peebles Hospital. It was pressing for Government to – among other things – address long-standing ‘discrepancies’ in compensation packages.
After that protest, the BVIHSA implemented a new compensation structure on April 15 for medical staff.
“This decision followed an independent comprehensive review and market analysis conducted by Compensation Resources International – and which examined compensation arrangements for all employees. The recommended compensation structure was approved and ratified by the Board at a meeting held on March 21st, 2017,” the BVIHSA said.
Doctors have been receiving the new salaries since April 15, but other practitioners will have to wait a while longer.
“The new merit-based salary structure is being implemented for all categories of staff, with a retroactive date of March 1st 2017. The review process is currently being finalised with respect to Nursing Personnel, and will then continue for Allied Health Professionals, Technical Units, Support Units, and Managerial Staff,” added the BVIHSA.
Its Chief Executive Officer, in the meantime, reiterated that better pay means greater expectations from staff.
“With the strategic aim of achieving accreditation status, the new performance culture at the BVIHSA has to be one of always providing patient-centred care, high standards in the delivery of services, and performance accountability,” Chester-Cumberbatch said.