It’s been a month since the ‘Shift System’ was introduced in hospital emergency rooms. GPs allocated to this department are likely to demand the return of the old system, even if they must accumulate 31 hours of work.
The Shift System, introduced on the 1st of April in the five regional hospitals in the country, has helped improve the quality of service with more ‘fresh’ doctors ready to listen to patients. Now, a month later, we learn from various sources that GPs are unhappy and that Regional Health Directors (RHD) of hospitals suggested everything is being done for the best.
This revision of the general working conditions for a more flexible system was long being desired by their union for the benefit of patients. Previously, doctors were working up to 31 hours. Result: they were often tired and lacked concentration. The shift system has been introduced to offer more human working conditions.
But with the pay cut after the introduction of the shift system, the doctors are not happy. With no extra duties to perform, they found themselves with a lean payroll at the end of April. According to a source, they got a payroll equivalent to that of a basic salary. Our sources also indicate that the dissatisfaction started after the release of the “unfavorable” Pay Research Bureau (PRB) report.
Published a few days after the introduction of the shift system, the report does not meet the expectations of doctors. One of them, who wished to remain anonymous, claims that the PRB does not mention the implementation of the new system for GPs allocated to the emergency department. Ditto regarding the scale of their salaries.
” Il y a différents problèmes à résoudre, notamment les conditions de travail des médecins et la révision du shift system.” GP from emergency department would feel more aggrieved compared to those posted in other hospital units: internal medicine, orthopedic, gynecology … who continue to work under the old system.
Another source indicates that many of the doctors have loans and commitments. “Ils se retrouvent aujourd’hui dans une situation délicate, en raison d’une diminution de leur salaire. Il n’y a pas eu suffisamment de consultations entre les médecins et le ministère de la Santé avant l’introduction du shift system, quelques jours seulement après l’annonce faite, fin mars, par le ministre Anil Gayan.”
One respondent concedes, however, that technically the introduction of the shift system was a good thing. According to him, doctors who now work fewer hours, are better physically and mentally. “They come to focus better with better working conditions.”
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