Health Minister puts two government entities on notice

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The two government agencies which are responsible for the transfer of civil servants will be taken to task if any major health crisis occurs at Her Majesty’s Prison, the Sunshine Home for Girls or the Boy’s Training School.
Health Minister Molwyn Joseph issued the warning on Tuesday while revealing that both the Establishment Division and the Public Service Commission (PSC) are yet to finalise the transfer of a senior nursing official who should have assumed the post of Matron of Correctional Institutes having responsibility for the three entities.
The nursing official in question is Clarissa Christopher, the current Matron of Fiennes Institute.
“We need nurses who are there to monitor the health of these individuals and I am talking about senior nurses. If the Public Service Commission and the Establishment Division do not see it, then they would be responsible for any fall out in these institutions,” the minister declared during an appearance on the Connecting with Dave programme on OBSERVER radio yesterday.
Nurse Christopher was expected to be transferred on September 1, but the recommendation from the Cabinet was made public before it was submitted to the two government agencies that have to approve any transfer before it takes effect.
The matter was eventually turned over to both departments in late September shortly after members of the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association created an uproar about the controversial transfer which it deemed was a deliberate act of victimisation.
Despite this, the health minister is adamant that the government has to improve the delivery of healthcare in the three institutions.
He also stressed that people who are incarcerated and juveniles who are in the care of the state, should have access to the same type of healthcare to which ordinary citizens have grown accustomed.
“When people are incarcerated, they are incarcerated by the court and the court does not mandate that they should be deprived of healthcare. And in addition to this, if we do not have strong healthcare monitoring with doctors and nurses in these institutions that creates the perfect environment for the spread of infectious diseases,” Joseph said.

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