Minority Councillor Dr Faith BYisrael has questioned selection of members of the newly installed Board of the Tobago Regional Health Authorities (TRHA), saying that it suggests the Board may be a component of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM).
Last Thursday, the new Board of Directors was appointed, with Ingrid Melville installed as Chairman and Director of Law. Other members of the Board include: Dr Hazel Carter Strachan - Deputy Chairman and Director of Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Dr David Santana – Director of Medicine, Inez Gill – Director of Nursing, Winfield Quamina – Director of THA Interest, Tineesia Brebnor – Director of THA Interest, Carlos Waldron – Director of Finance, Stanford Callendar – Director of Public Interest and Welfare and Ken Jones – Director of Business.
Speaking at the Minority Council’s media briefing at James Park on Tuesday, BYisrael said:
“When we looked at the members of the board, we have to wonder if the TRHA is now a component of the People’s National Movement. We need to wonder if this is an organisation which is part of a political party because we have no confidence in the individuals who have been cherry picked to sit on this board.”
She said the TRHA Board consists of individuals who were previously members, contending that they “failed miserably at those incarnations.”
“So, we are wondering, why would you bring them back. For example, the person who is currently the Chairman of the Board, (Melville) was the Vice Chair in the last go around and that person appointed herself as the Acting CEO of the TRHA. Now if we understand the rules and regulations, the regulations that govern the RHAs… if it is not illegal, it is unethical, and it cannot function,” she said.
BYisrael noted that the TRHA was the entity that was responsible for Tobago’s healthcare, and there have been many issues of concern under previous Boards.
“Continually, there have been complaints, continually there have been issues, continually we have been seeing high rates of infant and maternal mortality, which is a clear sign that our healthcare system is failing. The fact that they would then pick a bunch of individuals in which we have no confidence will actually do anything to improve the healthcare system, is very distressing,” she said.
The Board is expected to serve for a period of two years.