Hospital explains why frontline staff have not received promised $1000


In April 2020 a decision was made by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda to offer an honorarium to nurses on the frontline caring for COVID-19 patients. Since then, our hospital has been working on putting a system in place to enact this policy.

However, like all other hospitals, we are not immune to the ever escalating healthcare costs and all of the other pressures associated with operating a health care facility especially during this time. This was one of the main reasons for our delay in starting the process of payment.

The payment criteria put in place by the hospital required a nurse to work a minimum of 32 (thirty-two) hours in order to receive the allotment of $1000 (monthly). We have since realized the inequities in the process and are taking the necessary steps to address. Moving forward, all nurses working with COVID-19 patients will receive a $1000 pay incentive. Nurses who have received less than the $1000 will be paid the shortfall retroactively.

“We have always been and continue to be committed to ensuring that our team – nurses and all others – are supported. We are making every effort to be as inclusive as we possibly can”, said Dr. Albert Duncan, MSJMC Medical Director. “This means that other members of our team such as our orderlies and technicians will also be eligible for this pay incentive. They are all shouldering an incredible burden as well as increased risks to their emotional and physical health.”

“All of our nurses are valued employees and we recognize their service and commitment to patient care”, said Jacqueline Jno-Baptiste, MSJMC Director of Nursing. “Throughout this entire crisis they’ve been on the frontlines at high risk and high exposure and we’re all grateful. We are committed to resolving matters that are of concern to them.”

The pay incentive is for a period of one year commencing on March 1, 2020. All eligible MSJMC employees will be paid $1000 retroactively for this period.

Added Dr. Duncan – “Delays send the wrong message and we want to apologize to not just our nurses but our entire team for this. We recognize the urgent need for these funds as well as the length of time it has taken to distribute. We are confident that the employees will begin to receive payment in short time.

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      • I do not care about fairness to Albert Duncan. The monies were promised and failed to materialized. He as the head honcho at the Hospital. Should have met with the Nurses and all others. Explained to them the situation at it stands. That is what you do as a top Executive of a Corporation. You calmed the waters.If need be he could have asked the Minister of Health to come and speak to them.If the Nurses did not take action.Not one damn thing would have been done.Nurses, and all others at Mount St.John.Reminder,action speaks louder than words.You need to see action(money) now.

  1. Now they claim they are going to give it to nurses who take care of COVID patients.

    All nurses and medical staff are at risk because anyone who comes through the hospital could be a potential carrier of this virus.

  2. We need people to stop lying to us. Kudos to the nurses for taking a stand. And by the way I don’t feel one ounce a genuine juice in the words from Dr D…

  3. Tom drunk but Tom a no fool….. If the staff did not react then not a sound from the Management team would be heard…. Sadly this the behaviour of the hierarchy in most establishments……They make promises just to try and comfort persons who they consider to be fools…… The politicians & the management team of the various organizations need to understand thay slavery days are done. Enough is Enough!!

  4. The pay incentive of $1,000 per month from March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021.
    Pleased orderlies & technicians being included, bravo.
    Hopefully payments will be made before end of this month.

    Now, what agreement is in place for this danger pay to continue from March 1, this year? Please nail that down before end of the month or another strike likely.

    Parts of the hospital have many covid patients & sadly the numbers will increase over the next few months because it will take many months for the efficacy of 80%+ vaccinated population to kick in.

  5. So cashier’s receptionist and registration staff aren’t frontline workers we have to talk to these people face to face take documents from them while hold their samples and swab from the lab we have full contact with people who are paying to do covid test and we are they don’t know what their results will be…. Nurse and doctors arent the one ones dealing with these patients …I bet u when it’s time to give vaccines all of a sudden we will be considered front line staff…. MSJMC please remember the cashier’s no one cares about them what if we all decided to strike who’s going to do the work I would to see the patients mangers would have cashing patients iconic isn’t it …. Cashier’s get threaten cussed at paper being pulled from their hands because they are doing what the work requires yet no one cares all work place have their issues but MSJMC is a place if your not carrying news or sleeping with a manager / supervisor doctor you don’t get fair treatment and when cashier’s call sick often or bring in sick leave to fast its a problem cashier’s are human beings sometimes people are fed up and can only take so much … Behind Evey good manager they are good staff I learned when I was a waitress …. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to work at the MSJMC

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