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Andrews hospital breaks silence, says workers respect position on fornication and adultery

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 5:16 PM
Andrews Memorial Hospital on Hope Road, St Andrew.

The management of Andrews Memorial Hospital in St Andrew has stated that it will continue to advocate that employees abide by the ethical standards by which it is guided, and that includes "the moral principles, rules and regulations as outlined by the Seventh-day Adventist Church".

In a media release yesterday, the hospital said it "is committed to good governance and reserves the right to seek to uphold moral and ethical standards by which it (the hospital) is guided. While it is not always in a position to enforce these standards, it is strongly advocated that all employees be bound by them. Whilst the hospital intends to strictly enforce our policy, to date, most of our workers have respected our position and, as such, we have not had to address this as a concern."

The statement from the hospital comes as a response to a Sunday Gleaner probe which revealed that, in 2015, the hospital circulated letters to staff outlining that they could face disciplinary action, up to dismissal, if they were involved in fornication or adultery.

The management of the hospital was adamant that it would uphold its biblical stance on adultery and fornication and explained that the letter in question was written to remind the workers of these principles and possible consequences if they were violated.

The hospital, in defending its position, said that it does not discriminate between men and women in its hiring and general employment policies.

HOSPITAL redemptive

"It has been employing both unmarried male and female workers. Although some females have gotten pregnant, the hospital has never terminated the services of a single pregnant mother. We also have not terminated the services of any male member of staff who has been involved in any such activities," the release said.

The hospital has also denied media reports that an unwed pregnant nurse was told to use the back entrance to report to work. The statement said based on the board's investigation, "no instruction has ever been given to any worker to enter our establishment through a back door. If this was done, it was without the authorisation of the hospital's management".

Pointing to past breaches of its sexual conduct policy, the Seventh-day Adventist institution said it has "sought to be redemptive. Whenever the breach has occurred in the past and disciplinary actions taken, the employees have been treated with love and care, have received all their benefits, and were restored to their position before the breach of policy.

"It is our intention, as good corporate citizens, to abide by the labour-relations laws, practices and policies of the State, as long as there is no conflict with the biblical principles we embrace. The Church is not at variance with the State on matters of law unless or until there is an imposition on conscience," the hospital said.