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Contingency plan at QEH

Acting chief executive officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Louise Bobb says that institution has a contingency plan in place should trade unions decide to call out all their members for a national strike in coming days.

Acting chief executive officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Louise Bobb

Acting chief executive officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Louise Bobb

She told Barbados TODAY in a brief interview this afternoon that the island’s main hospital, which is one of the island’s essential services, was not negatively impacted by the protest carried out by the unions yesterday, which saw more than 3,500 members taking part.

The strike action is being led by the National Union of Public Workers and supported by the Barbados Workers Union over the dismisssal of 13 workers of the state-owned Barbados and Investment Development Corporation, ten of whom have reached the age of 60.

Bobb said the hospital’s board has already met with heads of departments to ensure the hospital can maintain a level of services.

“That would include providing skeleton-staff for both the clinical and support services and calling in people who are on vacation if we need to, and filling in with substitute staff where necessary,” informed Bobb.

“The shop stewards have committed, whether they call out their staff, and they have the right to do so, to ensuring that there is coverage for the various departments and the hospital. And where possible move to emergency services in terms of surgeries and so on and probably close the cancer and outpatient [departments] and only work on emergencies,” she explained.

Unionized members of one of the island’s essential services –– The Sanitation Services Authority –– have already decided to stage protest tomorrow. They will not be collecting garbage tomorrow.

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