A Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) employee has expressed serious concerns about the composition of the task force, which was appointed by Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles in January, to assess the operations of the island's health sector.Speaking on Wednesday during a public consultation, hosted by the task force at the Scarborough Library, the employee described the body as a case of "himself unto himself."The employee, who has over ten years of experience in the TRHA, believes the members of the task force, by virtue of their affiliation, will not get a candid, comprehensive view of the sector.The task force comprises Chief Administrator Bernadette Solomon-Koroma (chairman); former TRHA CEO and financial consultant Ashworth Learmont; Dr Anton Cumberbatch; human resource consultant Carol David and Cecile Beckles. In carrying out their work, members are expected to meet with the Secretary for Health, Wellness and Family Development, TRHA board members and the administrator in the division.The employee expressed reservation about the scope of their duties.
"Pointedly, let me say to you that you cannot take your mosquito problems, your malaria problems to a mosquito. It cannot be himself to himself," the employee stressed."If that is where ther remit of this task force is going to start and end, you are going to himself and asking himself to correct himself. And that is as conflicted an interest as it gets."The employee added: "And the members of this panel, by virtue of my experience, are well-experienced, every single one of you. So, I know that you know that what I am saying is not far from the truth. That is what I have observed."The employee suggested the task force have targeted focus group meetings with managers in the health care system and staff."People like the nurses, doctors, clerks, pharmacists. If you intend to get a 360 (degree) view of what is going on in our health care system, you cannot meet with the board, the secretary for health and the administrator for health.
"Let me say that to you categorically – that can't be where it ends. You will be missing valid and valuable contributions."The worker said the task force must also examine the mental health of TRHA employees."Mental health impacts on the service that people get... You need to start doing that."The employee described TRHA workers as "a set of damaged individuals," who work in an environment of fear, nepotism and victimisation."Our organisational structure cannot change every Monday morning when we want to fire this one and hire somebody else. It needs to be examined and the very flippant way our establishment seems to be determined."The employee believes the RHA's governance structure has failed.