EMPLOYEES of the Public Health Department of the THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development were last Friday encouraged to recommit to improving performance for the benefit of all of Tobago.
This as the Division commissioned nine new vehicles including a backhoe, a flatbed truck, a garbage compactor, two civilian buses, two double cab pick-up vans and two dump trucks for use by the Public Health employees.
In delivering the address at the simple ceremony, which was held at the Public Health Compound in Signal Hill, Secretary of the Division, Dr Agatha Carrington indicated that the addition of the vehicles to the Division’s current fleet is expected to improve the Division’s capacity to better respond to the numerous public health needs that emanate in our communities.
The Secretary stated that the leadership of the transport management function in the Division is critical and as such, all the users are expected to care for the vehicles and must be held accountable.
“We expect, and we look forward to your ownership of this investment because if you purchase a vehicle, you would take care of it. We have purchased for you and we expect that you will do the same,” the Secretary said.
THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles in his address said that the commissioning allows for a new beginning, which he said ought to be seen as a fresh start on how the non-human resources are managed.
“We cannot overemphasis the need for you to step up to the plate… We have moved from a situation where various pieces of equipment and machinery were owned by the Division (Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment) but because of lack of responsibilities a.k.a mismanagement, sabotage and even corruption, there was a shift to the outsourcing of the equipment.
“We have a situation here where you would now be in possession of brand new vehicles and other forms of equipment in an attempt to ensure that as you discharge your responsibilities, you can do so efficiently and effectively. And therefore, you should ensure that when you are weighing in the balance, you are not found wanting,” he said.
Dianne Baker-Henry, Administrator at the Division urged the users of the new equipment to adopt a change in thinking. “We at the Division must change our mindset, must change how we operate Government’s asset… we must use those vehicles only for the purpose intended, let us change our mindset to ensure that the best precedent is set and so that we can be the Division for which other division’s can emulate.
The vehicles are in keeping with the Division’s policy to manage,” the administrator said. Public Health Inspector IV, Ricardo Bobb, stressed on the need to work together to keep the vehicles in a proper condition to continue deliver the services to the people of Tobago.
“It is one thing to love the new, but it is another thing to keep the new, new and this is our challenge that we are putting forward. Vehicles cannot drive themselves; they have to be driven by someone, vehicles cannot maintain themselves; they have to be maintained by someone, those who are responsible for either the driving of them, the usage of them, the maintenance of them, the procurement of parts for them must come into that relationship,” he said.