Charlene Stuart, Senior Staff Reporter
The Medical Association of Jamaica has joined in rejecting claims that overtime work is seriously affecting health professionals and compromising health care delivery.
On Friday, the Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority, Lyttleton Shirley said overtime work and sessional duties are wrecking nurses and doctors.
He said this is also compromising the care offered to patients.
But writing in today’s Gleaner the President of the Medical Association of Jamaica, Dr Aggrey Irons, described this line of reasoning as disingenuous and transparently deceptive.
Irons listed 11 points to back up his statements, saying that the Jamaican people will not be fooled by what he terms a new chapter in the blame game.
In defending the service of his colleagues, he said Jamaica’s health professionals have long recognised that their daily work requires time and energy, some of which they will never be paid for.
According to Irons, even with overtime, the salaries of these professionals are the lowest in the Caribbean.
He believes that successive governments have actively promoted brain drain because they are unable to offer attractive remuneration packages and working conditions to Jamaican health professionals.