03 July, 2007

Second Opinion

Health Sabotage. We saw a few days ago that the entire Board of the Health Authority of Anguilla has resigned in protest at the Minister’s lack of support. They were a dedicated bunch. Their achievements are well known. The worked long hours, for a pittance. Then, the new Minister cut them off and forced them to resign. This they did en masse on 25th June. My question is, why? In matters of health, when you have bad news it is always advisable to get a second opinion. That is what I did about the crisis.

An insider has provided the following explanation. Minister Evans Macneil Rogers met the Board in place when he was appointed Minister of Health in February 2005. From the onset, it was clear that he was not in favour of the Health Authority, despite his public declarations to the contrary. He seemed to want his Ministry to have a hands-on approach as regards management of the health services. This was contrary to the very purpose of the Health Authority. Added to this, he felt the Board was Eric Reid’s Board. The members had all been appointed by Mr Reid. For some reason, this made him uncomfortable. It seemed he wanted to put his own “stamp” on the Board. He wanted to appoint the persons he preferred. He appeared to resent the fact that the Board had the power to appoint the CEO and executive managers, and not him. It was rumoured he had certain “friends” in mind for those positions. From the beginning of his term of service, he appeared to be dissatisfied with the Authority. The members of the Board held several meetings with him geared to finding out the source of his dissatisfaction. Nothing was forthcoming from him. The terms of three members of the Board expired in December 2006. Two of them indicated their willingness to be re-appointed. He did not re-appoint them. Nor did he appoint anyone else to fill their vacancies. The surviving members soldiered on. Up to the day they resigned, they operated with only four rather than the full complement of seven members.

This action of the Minister was a betrayal of the principle that health is too important to be under political control. The consultants had all recommended that there be an independent Health Authority for Anguilla. Now, all their good work has been cast aside. We are back to the old incompetent style of political control of the Health Services of Anguilla. How sad for all of us.

In better times


  1. I still believe as board members of such an important board, they should have given notice even if they were not stipulated to do so.

    Lets hope a new board can be in place ASAP. I should mentioned the Minister is a distant relative, so I may be bias.

  2. The real question is, why did the Minister destroy the Board?

    Anguilla’s health services used to be a government department. It was inefficient, and out of control. The hospital nurses were the real power, not the chief medical officer. They decided what medical equipment was purchased, and which surgeon was fired.

    That is what we used to have. The professional consultants had recommended the health service be run by an independent Board. Eric Reid’s government colleagues had agreed. They had appointed a young, vibrant Board. Now, we had a real, professional, energetic Board. They had turned the health service around. The Board raised health service standards to a previously unimaginable level. We were the envy of the rest of the Caribbean.

    Then, the new Minister came into office in 2005. He boycotted the Board. He obstructed it, until the members resigned in frustration. He has now hypocritically announced on Radio Anguilla that he had no problem with them. He pretends that he had decided to re-appoint them just a few days before they resigned. What are we to expect of a politician who can tell such a callous falsehood?

    Is it that he intends to appoint an old, cynical corrupt Board that will do his political bidding? Does he have an old crony in mind as Chairman? Does he have some political favours to repay? Is he determined to bring health services once again under political control?

    We must look out in the coming days to see who he appoints. Then we will begin to have an idea of his motives and plans.

  3. The Minister ran as part of the United Front and endorsed the party's clear support of an independent Health Authority. He is now revealed to have a conflicting agenda in which he seems dedicated to destroying what he promised us he would support.

    Has he not defrauded those of us who believed him and voted for him?

  4. In the merger of two parties that created the United Front, the new party was left with too many candidates in Valley North: Eric Reid and Leroy Rogers. A deal was made where Roy would step aside for five years, Eric would run for one more term before he retired, Roy would be the Speaker of the House and would be the party's candidate when Eric retired.

    Several years passed. Neil returned with the idea of running with Joyce dem in opposition -- an alternative opposition party to Hubert, Haydn and Clown George. "The General," however, took nephew Neil to the United Front and David led the move to replace the hapless Roy with Neil.

    Following the election, problems relating to youth, crime, drugs and education captured the news, but month after month went by with no action on the many pre-election promises about what the party intended to do about social development. Neil seems disinterested in Education, his only interest in Health appears to be a power and control game, and his real interest seems to be as Minister of Sports. He is clearly a grave disappointment to thinking persons who backed him.

    David, more than any other Anguillian, is responsible for our having Neil instead of a functioning minister. A year or two ago David threatened to resign in protest from his position as Speaker of the House unless there was movement in Social Services. He has since fallen silent. The other insiders are limited by self-interest or false civility. Why does David continue to imply his support for this malfeasance by his silence, and his complicity in the system that makes this charade possible?

    I ask the Speaker to make a statement. I ask him to speak the truth.

  5. I do not know what is the matter in Anguilla, this place is going crazy like hell. The government ministers only meet us in a confrontational manner and then it seems as if you differ on opinions you are castigated. You are a party supporter or you are not. If you are a party supporter then you have to be loyal and do not say a word when it comes to the wrong that is happening.
    That is the same through out all areas of Anguilla. In the departments that you work in you either are among or you are apart no longer being yourself matters and sharing your own views. I would still like to know what is going on in Anguilla. It would even be worst now with the position within the chief minister,s office becoming vacant. more loyalty would be ensured now. Who would be the successful candidate?. Loyalty counts you would be repaid with a position within this government for sure.

  6. MR Mitchell asked why did the minister detroy the board? Maybe the answer would be as usual because they have hidden agendas, and political motives. or maybe to destroy the government or to make the government look bad. These are now the answers to every question.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.