1 Jul 2002

FMA president says she doesnt know how minister would carry out threats

3:49 pm on 1 July 2002

The Fiji Medical Association president says she doesn't know how threats by the Labour minister would be legally carried out.

The minister Kenneth Zinck has warned that doctors taking part in work-to-rule action could face disciplinary action.

Hospital services in Fiji have been cut back with doctors resuming a protest after a two month break.

Doctor Mary Schram says the protest means doctors will only work normal civil service hours.

She says the doctors are protesting about the allowance paid when they are rostered to work outside those hours.

Mr Zinck says he has taken the hard stand because the Medical Association is not a registered trade union.

But Dr Schram says the protest is legal and she doesn't know how doctors or the Association could be disciplined.

"Legal action against working to rule, it's a bit of a contradiction in terms if they're working according to the rules and the rules are the rules. The Fiji Medical Association is a statutory body and it is charged with certain responsibilities including the welfare of its members, so I think a statutory body can't be de-registered for being a naughty trade union."

Dr Mary Schram says the protest action is not an FMA action and she is merely speaking on behalf of her members.