While a 24/7 business environment may bring increased economic benefits to Barbados, an Opposition member of parliament is worried it may also lead to increased health complications for workers.
MP for St Michael South-East Santia Bradshaw raised the issue in Parliament this afternoon during debate on the Shops Bills 2015.
“While the economic benefits may outweigh the health concerns, I do believe it is important that a conversation on this also enters this debate . . . as infrastructure and the move towards this type of society has also been proven to have some health concerns,” Bradshaw asserted.
“We have seen studies overseas which have suggested that longer working hours also impact on a person’s health care. There have been studies, which have shown that a number of people because of the long working hours end up with a number of heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases. A number of persons who work long hours and into the night also have problems with gastrointestinal diseases as well, because the body traditionally expects to eat at certain times, has been trained to eat at certain times and then finds itself eating at unusual hours.”
She said it also had the potential to severely impact the island’s health care system.
“It is something that we must also be mindful of because it does have an impact on the health care system and the cost of health care,” Bradshaw said.
“It does have on impact on the rhythm of the body and it is something that we must bear in mind, because we do not also want to create additional problems for our citizens in terms of the health care cost or even to the Government, by certainly extending hours or having persons work in that way.” (RB)