Nationwide News understands that the Jamaica Medical Doctor’s Association, JMDA says it will be requesting an immediate meeting with Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton.
The decision was made during an emergency meeting of the JMDA at the Bustamante Hospital for Children yesterday.
During the meeting, JMDA members aired grievances about their working conditions.
Chief among those concerns is the security of health workers.
On Sunday, November 10, Councilor for the Trafalgar Division, Kari Douglas was reportedly involved in a stand-off with a medical doctor at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
It reportedly triggered a shutdown of the Accident and Emergency unit for two hours.
Although Ms. Douglas has apologised, the nation’s medical doctors believe these incidents happen far too often.
Those and other concerns were aired during a meeting of doctors from across the country.
One doctor told the meeting that she’s been threatened with gun violence three times since she’s been employed at a health centre in the corporate area.
Many others are frustrated that there’s no protocol to deal with situations where doctors believe they’re in imminent danger.
To make matters worse, the doctors say it’s their information that many of the security companies employed to the nation’s hospitals and health centres aren’t allowed to touch patients, even if they’re rowdy.
The doctors say even at hospitals with a police post, the response time is often slow.
The doctors believe security companies should be able to do more to protect them.
In fact, they believe there should be a general review and improvement of security across the health sector.
The doctors are asking for counseling to be provided for those traumatized by threats to their safety.
Additionally, the doctors are concerned about how they’re being portrayed in the media.
They say a prominent member of the media unfairly portrayed doctors as callous on a recent programme.
The meeting with the JMDA’s executive and about forty members lasted for almost two and a half hours, as members were given the platform to air their many grievances.
The JMDA’s members voted, and they intend to write to Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, today requesting a meeting for Wednesday.
The JMDA says it will expect a response from the government by Friday.
The association says if neither of those timelines are met, it’s prepared to take industrial action.