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No flex-work until task force completes deliberation says Health Minister

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 5:38 PMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says the government will not implement flex work arrangements in the health sector until the task force set up to deliberate on the matter completes its work.

Doctors in the public sector had claimed that the government planned to introduce the arrangement on July 1.

However, the health ministry has denied the claim.

In making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives this afternoon, Ferguson assured that he is committed to working with stakeholders in the sector to finalise an agreement on flexible hours.

The health minister said the ministry is not against criticism, but will not condone personal attacks, especially those which are not supported by evidence.

Ferguson has also appealed to the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA) to return to the task force.


Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson

The JMDA withdrew from the body citing disappointment over what it said was the disregard showed to its recommendations on the flexi-work arrangements.

The association has also accused permanent secretary in the health ministry, Dr Kevin Harvey, of mishandling the talks at the task force and of poor management of the health sector.

Harvey has dismissed the accusations.

Today, the JMDA president, Dr. Alfred Dawes, issued a statement saying he has no animosity toward Harvey.

Dawes said he and the permanent secretary are committed to working together on strategies to improve the delivery of health care.