1 Jul 2002

Fiji labour minister threatens to sack or discipline hospital doctors who work to rule

7:48 am on 1 July 2002

Hospital doctors in Fiji who go on a work-to-rule protest from today have been warned they could be sacked or face other disciplinary action.

The warning has been issued by the labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, who says any action taken by the doctors will be at their own peril.

The Daily Post quotes Mr Zinck as saying his ministry has taken this stand after obtaining a legal opinion that the doctor's professional organisation, the Fiji Medical Association, is not a registered trade union.

The minister says the doctors can be either sacked, suspended or warned.

The doctors have decided to resume their work to rule after two months because of what they say is a lack of progress by the public service commission in reviewing their pay for work in excess of normal hours.

Administrators of the larger hospitals are planning to cut back services as the work-to-rule takes effect.

One report after the last protest said ten patients were believed to have died as a result of the action.