No consultations during lunch time, threaten the doctors

The ongoing wrangle between the main union of doctors in public hospitals and the Ministry of Health is not ready to end.

Members of the Medical & Health Officers’ Association (MHOA) threaten not to listen to patients during their break, at diner time and for lunch time during the weekends and holidays, due to a new administrative decision.

The Department of Finance of the five regional hospitals decided to deduct lunch hour during the week and lunch on weekends, and days of public holiday so they are not included in the extra time of physicians. In a letter addressed to the Health department on June 8, MHOA emphasizes that its members will have no choice but not to listen to sick persons during their break at night.

“If the Ministry maintains this decision, the MHO/SMHOs on night calls will have no alternative than not to answer any calls during the period of one hour dinner and one hour lunch time. The association feels that in such circumstances, the MHO/SMHO (NdlR : Medical Health Officers/Senior Medical Health Officers) shall not be answerable to any inconvenience caused to any patient or shortcoming to the service,” said Dr. Vedhiyen Moonsamy, Secretary at MHOA, to How Cheey Lan Chung Fok, Senior Chief Executive to the Ministry.

“Nous ne pouvons approuver une telle décision. Comment comptent-ils la pause-repas dans un système qui fonctionne 24 heures sur 24 ? Qu’on ne vienne pas tout nous mettre sur le dos en cas de pépins,” says Dr. Wassim Ballam, president of the MHOA. The association plans to address the issue at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon in Port Louis.