Bahrain’s doctors ‘may quit despite pay rise’
Manama, August 10, 2011
Doctors at Bahrain’s Health Ministry, who stand to gain 70 per cent of their basic salary as an allowance, may still quit their jobs since they make three times the amount in their private practice, said officials.
The news comes as only a day remains for ministry doctors to make up their minds on whether they wanted to work at the ministry or concentrate on their private practice.
The ministry last month issued an order barring doctors who have their private practice from working in the government sector and vice versa.
They were asked to decide by tomorrow, after which the ministry said it would take six months to replenish staff if the need arose.
"The 70 per cent bonus means anyone with a BD1,000 ($2,652) basic salary will automatically get BD1,700," said an official.
"In the ministry, consultants are paid a minimum BD2,000 per month so that means they will now get BD3,400 plus other allowances," the official added.
The official said even with these numbers, it was unlikely senior doctors, who have lucrative private practices, would stay on.
"Some of them have already indicated they would prefer to stay with their private practice," said the official.
At least two senior ministry officials as well as around 100 doctors would be affected by the government decision.
The move to allow practising doctors who work for the ministry to have a private practice was taken years ago under certain rules and regulations. However, the new rule now not only involves doctors, but all ministry officials.
The ministry earlier said the order was issued to enable consultants who wish to continue to work under the ministry to give the best services to patients.
It was also intended for the optimum utilisation of human resources, materials and facilities at the ministry's disposal and to reduce waiting times for patients who attend outpatient departments.
The decision will affect government doctors at Salmaniya Medical Complex, Psychiatric Hospital, maternity hospitals and all health centres.
It would also mean that those attending private sector facilities would then have their operations and other procedures conducted at the same hospitals, rather than at government facilities.
Patients who use a private doctor, but require access to government facilities for operations, will have their cases reviewed by a new technical committee. – TradeArabia News Service
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