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Medical Association enraged by scrapping of “young doctors” contracts

The Guyana Medical Association (GMA) Thursday night accused government of breach of contract by scrapping a five-year agreement with young doctors.

In addition to the apparent breach of contract, doctors are now being taxed on allowance for on Call services, which fall under overtime services,” the association said.

The steering committee called on government to withdraw plans to abolish the agreement with the doctors, most of whom were trained in Cuba under a scholarships programme.

Government has in recent months reiterated the need to reduce the number of contract employees such as those doctors and for them to be included in the pensionable establishment of the public service. The end to the contractual arrangement would mean that the doctors losing periodic lucrative gratuities in favour of retirement pensions.

The oppositon People’s Progressive Party, under whose administration the contracts with government and the young doctors had been inked, has already flayed government for the move, saying it would result in a brain-drain of much needed doctors.

Following is the full text of the statement issued by the Guyana Medical Association.

The Guyana Medical Association notes with concern the recent breakdown in communication between the Government and the Young Doctors that have regrettably affected the public health care delivery system.

The GMA has maintained contact with the young doctors many of whom are members of the Association.

They have informed the steering Committee of their recent woes that they are experiencing at the hands of the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Public Health.

These grievances have crystallised, in the face of the recent ultimata declared by the Government, that have abolished the five (5) year contract for service as bonded employee of the Government .

As such they have lost their status as Contract Employees, along with contractual benefits.

Important among which is the provision of their monthly gratuity payment.
Currently, the Young Doctors are being forced by the Government to join the Public Service as pensionable Public Servant, during the five (5) years of obligatory bonded service.

In addition to the apparent breach of contract, doctors are now being taxed on allowance for on Call services, which fall under overtime services.

This betrayal of their reasonable expectations is unilateral, thus further compounding the sentiment of distrust and resentment that prevails among the affected young doctors.

The GMA will not support unconscionable and unilateral acts of the Ministry of Public Health in the absence of reasonable explanation particularly by the authority, to the predicament of Young Doctors.

The Ministry of Public Health has remained silent and adamant in seeking to enforce their unilateral and oppressive measure.

The GMA remain steadfast in solidarity with the young doctors as they face an uphill battle that impinges on their means of survival.

The GMA urges the Government of Guyana to withdraw its ultimata and urgently meet with representative of the Young Doctors to address mutual concern and conclude mutually agreeable solutions.