The Nassau Guardian Says The Doctors Find Director Of Labour Wanting

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Dr. Melisande Bassett (left) and Dr. Duane Sands.
 24 August 2019
Rachel Knowles

Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) President Dr. Melisande Bassett said the union was “ambushed” by Ministry of Health officials during what was supposed to be a meeting with Director of Labour John Pinder to exchange information yesterday.

The union will therefore continue with its strike action until Monday.

Bassett told The Nassau Guardian that as far as she was aware, the purpose of the meeting was to hand over documents that were requested by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis following a meeting with the union on Wednesday.

“Last night, around 9:30, I got a call from John Pinder, the director of labor, to have a meeting this morning and to provide him with the documents that the prime minister had asked for, outlining years of discussion and discourse with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA),” she said.

“So, I came prepared with the documentation and my executive to actually deliver those items to him in preparation for our meeting with the PHA and DPH (Department of Public Health) on Monday.

“I was quite shocked when we pulled up and saw that the minister of health, the director of PHA and the permanent secretary for the ministry of health, were all present.

“So, the first thing I did, I did not get out of my car. I called Mr. Pinder and I asked him, ‘What meeting did we agree to?’

“And he rightly said, ‘I agreed to meet with you all to exchange information and to prepare for the meeting on Monday.’

“I asked if we agreed to have a meeting with PHA and DPH. He said he is aware that we did not have that confirmation. So, we were quite shocked that they sought to crash this meeting and to sideswipe us by appearing.

“It questions Mr. Pinder’s credibility if he can’t maintain a clear order in terms of, ‘I want to meet with this side and that side, and then we come together.’

“That is what we expect in fair and honest discourse and discussion in bringing this to a close, not to ambush us at a meeting that we had scheduled in good faith, to turn over documents to you so you would be aware of what you have to deal with on Monday.

“We certainly were not prepared to have that kind of discussion with them today.”