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posted 18 Feb 2016, 17:38 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 18 Feb 2016, 18:00 ]
An adviser in the Ministry of Health contacted the National Workers Union (NWU) by phone on Wednesday 10th February at 2:45 pm inviting the NWU to present our views to a Government appointed Committee which is mandated to review the levels of health care delivered by the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) and rationalize the system of public sector doctors in private practice.

The meeting was carded for Tuesday 16th February, less than a week since the initial contact by the Ministry, with no venue yet selected; no agenda provided, no background documents cited. Finally, when the adviser called again, as promised, the venue was revealed and a time confirmed but no more than two representatives were allowed to attend.

To cut a long story short the NWU was represented by its President Frank Sears together with Keish Murrel, a member of our affiliate union, the National Health Workers Union (NHWU). When we turned up, it was revealed to us that the unions within the health sector were invited to make their presentations, isolated from other organizations in the sector.

Four unions met the  Dr. Winston Welch Committee and three of them – PSA, NUGE and TTRNA – basically deplored the short time frame between contact and the actual hearing date; the ambiguity of the subject matter and the lack of documentation from the committee thus, it seemed the one hour time slot for the grouping began to unravel.

The NWU president, despite the short time frame for preparation, came armed with a twelve (12) page document, and made it clear that the views expressed in the document represented the views of the NWU and the NHWU, its affiliate. The document put the Committee on notice of our experience with former commissions, councils and committees since the 1950s plus various sub-heads such as the dual track system of senior medical personnel, staff shortages, the master and servant industrial relations culture and a bullet point summary at the end.

The chairman on behalf of his committee profusely thanked us for our presentation and we in turn, agreed to send a soft copy to the Prime Minister’s Office since it was on his initiative this committee was operating. The document submitted to the Welch committee is attached to the end of this article and can be downloaded and studied.

welch presentation.pub
Gerry Kangalee,
18 Feb 2016, 17:59