Medical doctors, Health Minister meet on salary discrepanciesTuesday, May 04, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association (JMDA) says Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has instructed health authorities to desist from the practice of withdrawing salary deductions and not paying it to the relevant institutions.
This was communicated during a meeting with the Minister, Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan, and representatives from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA)
During the meeting, the JMDA expressed disquiet about the delay in gratuity payments, resulting in an accumulation of outstanding payments of approximately $200 million, 80 per cent of which is owed by SERHA.
The association said it also called for a solution moving forward for the continued delay in salary payments as well as the non-payment or late payment of salary deductions.
The health minister also stated that $890 million was given to pay over all deductions owed.
The association noted that Dr Errol Greene, who assumed the role of SERHA regional director this week, was unaware that such a large sum was owed and vowed to look into the matter.
It said NERHA also reported that they were unaware of any doctors being owed gratuity.
However, Dr Greene spoke of the West Regional Health Authority (WRHA) having a few doctors ' gratuity being at the auditor level but said they almost ready to be paid. No response was received for the South Regional Health Authority.
The JMDA said all regions have asked for the list of doctors who are owed gratuity.
“We highlighted that this list has been sent repeatedly but will send it again expeditiously to facilitate payments in a timely manner,” the association said.
For his part, Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan committed to paying all gratuity owed to doctors who are paid by the regions within the next pay cycle (within two months).
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