Peebles Hospital had an usually low number of medical professionals this morning (February 20); this as some members of staff took on the role of patients in what appeared to be a ‘sick out’.
The peaceful protest was against what the practitioners said is a delay in addressing ‘discrepancies’ in the compensation being received by different members of staff at the state-owned medical facility, which is being managed by the BVI Health Services Authority.
Some doctors from various departments at the hospital congregated at the Emergency Room for treatment, claiming that their illnesses were stressed-induced.
“We are humans; we are not machines; we actually get sick too,” one medical professional was overheard saying.
Vice-president of BVI Medical Doctors Association Craig Stoutt told BVI News Online that this morning’s protest was to show that he and his colleagues feel cheated, over-worked, and underpaid.
“We feel abused; we feel disrespected,” he said.
“We feel the same way we’ve felt for a long time. We feel abused; we feel disrespected; and we feel as if we are taken for granted. We have families to feed; we have mortgages to pay. They figure that they can just take advantage – they can just tell you anything and you take it. That isn’t so.”
Whatever it takes
Some of the medical professionals, in the meantime, said they are willing to do whatever it takes until the BVIHSA addresses their concerns regarding the ‘unjust and insufficient’ wages.
“The protest]is just about trying to send a message, because justice hasn’t been done for the workers. We ain’t getting paid fairly, and we need justice,” another of the medical professionals told BVI News Online.
He added that he will continue to protest until the workers are appeased.
“This is just the beginning until justice is done. We have a lot of long working hours, [and] a lot of stressful situations that we’re put under. I think the fact that all of us are feeling this way at this point in time speaks volumes as to the level of stress that we are under,” said one medical doctor, who was among the group that congregated at the Emergency Room.
She added: “I have not been feeling well since the weekend and, rather than forcing myself to take Paracetamol and going to work as we normally do, I decided to come in and get checked out. I came here and realized that a lot of my colleagues are feeling sick.”
Most of the medical practitioners claimed that they were truly ill, adding that they have symptoms associated with high blood pressure.
The workers involved in today’s ‘sick-out’ came from several departments including Internal Medicine, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Obstetrics and Gynaecolgy, Paediatrics, Laboratory Services, and Community Health.
For full details regarding the contentious issues involved, please CLICK on the link below.
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