TG flags ‘outrageous inconsistencies’ in GHA’s explanations in contract row
Together Gibraltar on Monday questioned the GHA’s reasons for not renewing the contracts of three gynaecologists at St Bernard’s Hospital, pointing to “inconsistencies” in the authority’s explanations that were “nothing short of outrageous”.
The GHA had said the three contracts were due to expire in the coming months and that, when asked by Unite the Union to review the decision not to extend, “...issues of clinical concern came to light arising from the care provided by some of these concerned.”
Unite, whose members in the midwifery team are taking selective industrial action, dismissed this and accused the GHA of abusing insecure employment.
Unite said it was no coincidence that the three gynaecologists were all approaching four years’ service with the GHA, at which point they would be able to seek a declaration of permanency of employment under the fixed-term worker regulations.
On Monday, TG said it too remained unconvinced.
“To expect the community to believe that all three gynaecologists flagged up clinical issues at the same time, right at the end of their contracts, is nothing short of outrageous, but the incredible coincidences do not end there,” the party said, as it questioned the nature of the clinical concerns identified.
“The clinical issues the Ministry [for Health] alludes to did not possess the gravity to warrant directly terminating their contracts, but were grave enough to derail the renewal of their contracts of all three doctors at exactly the same time.”
“In light of what appear to be completely unrealistic reasons for not renewing these contracts, Together Gibraltar feels it is their duty to act on the many representations the party has received from concerned citizens.”
“These citizens are asking what has been done to protect them if they have been at the end of this supposed chain of clinical incompetence.”
“They ask how come if all three of the gynaecologists were presenting concerns, why it is that they were not suspended and a locum brought in in their place?”
TG said the explanations were “simply not credible”, adding that the public deserved a detailed explanation as to what steps had been taken since the issues were identified, “...namely whether such concerns were flagged up with the appraiser and the Clinical Director, and how they were allowed to continue working in the GHA until their contracts were due for renewal.”