For immediate Release:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

NAPE Slams Employers’ Council for Promoting Policies Which Will Further Add to the Congestions in Doctor’s Offices and Emergency Departments

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees President (NAPE) Carol Furlong says, “Recent statements by the Employers’ Council clearly demonstrate that they have no concern for the costs of health care or in delaying access to health care in the province. In suggesting that employees should have medical notes for the shortest of illnesses, they are forcing employees to visit a physician each and every time they are off work. This is a selfish and self-serving view that will further exacerbate the current wait times in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms.”

Furlong explained, “The position of the Employers’ Council is that all employees are dishonest and must have a professional validation each and every time they are off work. This view completely fails to recognize that, from time-to-time, employees will suffer minor illnesses and instead of being forced to work or visit doctor’s offices or emergency rooms should be encouraged to stay home and not spread communicable diseases.”

“The Employers’ Council fails to recognize that by encouraging the spread of disease and illness they will ultimately add additional costs to employers, reduce productivity, and further add to the overall cost of healthcare,” said Furlong. “If employers want medicals they should be forced by legislation to pay the cost and not transfer the cost of their antiquated policies on to the taxpayer.”

In reference to the NLMA’s statement on sick notes, Furlong stated, “We are pleased that the Medical Association recognized the provisions of collective agreements and left physicians the discretion to provide sick notes after a prescribed period. I would caution physicians about policies that financially punish their patients when they can’t report to work due to illness. While this makes the Employers’ Council happy, it has the potential to have a severe negative impact on the patients.”

“Physicians should ignore the pleas of groups like the Employers’ Council when the end result is to cause economic harm to the patient,” concluded Furlong.

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For further information please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501  

(cell) 709.631.9737