Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎


posted 26 Mar 2019, 07:01 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 26 Mar 2019, 07:12 ]
Image result for trhaThe saga into the destruction of healthcare via the systematic dismantling of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) is once again in full gear, one may argue that it never lost momentum and that the person behind this has not lost sight of her goal.

So what fuels this type of vendetta? For us to move forward we may have to go back in time a bit. Is this the same individual that felt that she was so eminently qualified that the government of Trinidad and Tobago needed not advertise for a Commissioning and Decommissioning Consultant?

Is this the same individual who was repulsed by the fact that CCI Consultancy won the contract for this job? Is this why she is so bitter? Is this why she has made it her mission to destroy the structure established by the CCI Consultancy, approved by the then Board of Directors of the TRHA, and approved and supported by the then Orville London-PNM-led Executive Council? Is this why she seems hell-bent on getting rid of the persons/managers who were on that team led by the CCI Consultancy?

This vendetta seems to run so deep that all but one General Manager’s position remains at the secondary care level. This individual has refused to renew the contracts for the position of GM Patient Care Services; she has instructed Mrs Ingrid Melville to discontinue the position of GM Corporate Services and within the next 3 weeks the position of GM Operations will be void; with no intent of filling this vacancy, no advertisement for a replacement, nada zilch.

So what does this mean for the TRHA? All of Nursing, Finance, Purchasing, Stores IT, the 10 Managers in Operations will all report to the CEO? The CEO who is hand and cherry-picked? The CEO who the TRHA changes every 3 months because every CEO gets fired once they do not echo every word and sentiment of this individual? In fact, the position of CEO is a master puppet that is why she insists that she selects the person for this post, so in fact we are all reporting to her. Does this vendetta run so deep that all attempts are being made to erode the management structure established by the CCI Consultancy?

So, on Wednesday 20th March 2019, another indecency was unleashed on the TRHA. The heads/managers of IT (a former Secretary’s son) HR and Finance, along with 3 HRO’s were sent on administrative leave owing to an investigation into payroll. An investigation into payroll, because according to her, our expenditures are too high; so our payroll, which can clearly be audited via an Excel spreadsheet, needs investigation and auditing.

You know what the funny thing is, we agree that the payroll needs investigating: investigate all the persons who are “sent” for work by her, by the chairman, by the various secretaries, by the various board members, end up getting paid….

Those are the excesses in payroll we want investigated and audited. Pull the interview report (if you could find any); pull the advertisement for employment (if you could find any); pull the person’s application for the jobs they now hold (if you could find any).

People like the 4 such employees in the cafeteria, the manager in the office of the CEO, the esteemed HR consultant who is aiming for the GM HR position and better yet review the interview report of the chairman who applied, interviewed and was selected by a jury of her peers to be CEO, while she was chairman.

While we are at this, allow us to enumerate a few things that should be audited –

1. The work of the internal auditor at the TRHA. What has she been successful at auditing? What changes she has effected via audits? What are her working hours?
Board of Directors
2. Has the TRHA’s Internal Auditor been able to identify anomalies in the payroll owing to bizarre employment practices? If so, has she reported it? And to whom? And what has she recommended be done?

3. How is it that Board Members are allowed to leave with the TRHA’s laptops and other devices when their term in office comes to an end - this being the property of the TRHA (isn’t this a blatant abuse of power and public funds?) all the while hardworking staff use devices fit for the garbage.

4. How and why did the current GM Operations get a 3-year contract when all others have a 2-year? Who “organized” his contract?

5. The qualifications of the current Materials Manager and her suitability for office. Also her affiliations to the sitting CEO during her recruitment

6. The recruitment of 12 sanitation workers in 2015, exclusively for the kitchen. Who was on the interview panel? It has been reported that the same Materials Manager and her then CEO friend interviewed these employees.

7. Investigate which CEO has been altering interview scores.

8. We wish to have the interview reports for the Hospital Administrator and Medical Chief of Staff reviewed. Who were on these interview panels? What were the scores of the internal candidates? It has been reported that there were 2 internal candidates who were being purposely marked down in the midst of the TRHA Board wanting to recruit internally. The internal recruiting seems to be for their friends and puppets only.

9. The removal of all nursing related duties from Nursing Assistants. It has been reported that these individuals now only carry fluid samples to the lab and back.

10. The overnight change in working hours of the CSR’s. Some who are single mothers of young babies. 

11. Investigate please, the pilferage in stores. Investigate stock cards and delivery notes. Investigate who has control and authorization to change requisitions and create their own routing policies for purchasing. Investigate the prices being paid for commodities, medicine and non-pharmaceuticals. Investigate if these purchasing experts are doing their due diligence. Investigate if they are spending the TRHA’s money in keeping with good public sector policy or should they to be sent on administrative leave pending an investigation regarding gross misconduct due to the misappropriation of public funds.

12. Investigate where all the medicine goes and how much we buy
Image result for scarborough tobago hospital

13. Investigate how much “Windex” is bought, how many garbage bags, how much Lysol and which manager requests 100’s of bottles of Lysol

14. Try to reconcile the amount of ink bought and the amount issued

This is but the tip of the iceberg. But we are certain that a clear picture is had by all. The inhumane manner in which staff of the TRHA are being treated cannot go without mention. Each day at work is a day laced with fear; fear that just like our colleagues, you will come to work and be sent home; fear that just like our colleagues you will come to work and be demoted, after 9 and 10 years doing the job. Fear that you will be humiliated by a tyrant. Fear that you may not know who you will be reporting to or that your scope and working hours may just change without warning and that any questions or concerns you may have would be used as a means to get rid of you.

We are sure that none of this falls within the ambit of good industrial relations, none of it exudes the environment in which we want our Tobagonians to work in. What were we promised when the new administration came into office, wasn’t it a change for the better; a brighter Tobago for all young people? We did not expect that our elected officials would subject us to such humiliation and indignity. We did not expect our lives to be ruined, to have our earning potential stripped from us to have our drive and morale eroded, not by our elected officials.

We guess its time for a change. We are begging that someone who reads this gives a copy to the auditors that are here or the Auditor General so that what really needs auditing comes to light.

We refer to her as “this individual” not because we are afraid to call her name, or because this information is not factual or truthful but just like the terrorist in New Zealand, notoriety, fame and publicity is what she craves, but in our minds she will remain nameless.