Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has sought to clarify comments made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness regarding preferential treatment for persons in the public health sector.

The comments have been interpreted in some quarters as being offensive to nurses who are dealing with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases across the island.

The Opposition People’s National Party, PNP, has called on the Prime Minister to retract the statement and apologize to the nurses.

But Dr. Tufton says the Prime Minister was misunderstood.

Scores of nurses across the island called in sick yesterday. The nurses are reportedly dissatisfied with a number of issues affecting their job.

Dr. Tufton says the government recognizes the importance of health care workers in the fight against the pandemic.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister.

He was speaking last evening on Nationwide at 5.