16 October, 2007

Health Authority

Is there something seriously wrong with the Health Authority of Anguilla?

First, we heard that the Board of the Authority was pressured by the Minister into resigning en masse.

Then, last month we learned that the surgeon at the Hospital had been told to go home.

Now, last night we heard on the radio that the Health Authority CEO has been given three months’ salary in lieu of notice, and told that his services are no longer needed.

Will somebody please enlighten us?

Why all this blood letting in the Hospital?


  1. It's about time the CEO of Health was asked to resign. Now we need to look in the Fire CHief. If we do not take these essential services seriously, how can we expect our people to tkae our health system.

    Next I hope that all persons in the hospital and other statutory organisations in middle management be place on 3 year contracts. After three years they will have to apply again. Only then will Anguillian workers take their jobs seriously.

  2. Eric Reid's dream was a Health Authority that would be run professionally and future politicians couldn't meddle with. Neil ignored this and run for office talking about managing the Health Authority. The Ministers failed to prevent him from saying this. He is now doing it.

    Anglec's first motto was "We've got the power."

    Neil's motto seems to be "I've got the Authority."

  3. If one man is responsible for all the problems in Health, I hope we congratulate the one man when Health is turn around.

    He turn around sports and make it more important. I think he is doing miracles for a first time Minsiter. I wonder what those old farts in politics for over 20 years have been doing.

    Only in ANguilla the CEO could also have been CFO. Lets keep health in focus and hope the support the changes and the new Board.

  4. hmm im watching these developments with amusement,as we live, we learn that the world of politics is a ever changing arena.There is a need for change and finally there is someone who is not afraid to act.We seem to be so reluctant to welcome change that in most instances we view it as shocking or downright wrong.If the appointed officials are not doing their jobs as required then they have to understand that our ministers have a responsibility to us to place personel who are capable and willing to do the job.
    Hats off to the Hon. Mr Rogers for such a daring move,if these officials want a job then they need to show their worth.Health care is a serious matter and with the ever increasing influx of people we can not afford to be stagnant and lazy.This is the back bone of any society and we need to treat it accordingly.Perhaps,ther e will be other ministers who will follow his lead instead of just sitting back and getting paid for a mediocre job.Change is coming and whether we like it or not we have to come to grips with it.Anguilla nees good stewards to carry her responsibilyinto this new era.

  5. The Minister of Health appointed a new Board. A great step.
    That new Board has been reviewing the Authority and obviously have found fundamental problems and have set about correcting them. A great move.
    #2 blogger suggests that the Minister is somehow wrong for his actions. To him I say: " Who is answerable to the People of Anguilla for the provision of Health Services financed by the Public's Funds??
    The very same Minister and his collegues. If they do nothing and allow the rot to fester the People will demand answers ( insofar as we Anguillians have the guts to do so). When they do take positive actions ( like this one), some of you naysayers crawl out of the woodwork with your diatribe.
    the very least you can do is to observe this new Board and give it time to do its work.
    Dont forget that in December the Government will pass the National Health Insurance Act, furthet Taxing Anguillians to finance the Health Authority. ( something which can easilly be done WITHOUT NEW TAXES BY USING THE MASSIVE SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS FOR HEALTH RATHER THAN AS A POLITICAL PIGGYBANK.

    The good thing for Anguillians, and maybe not for any person who thought they could use the Health Levy in the future for Political Purposes, is that the Board is made up of EXCELLENT persons, with the BEST Chairman humanly possible.
    We are on the right btrack.
    great Choices Neil,at least you are a better Minister than you were a batsman!!!

  6. The Authority need to commence an Investigation immeadiately into its finances.
    word is that on Friday, the very day the Termination Letter for the former CEO was intransit, the "accountant" and her Deputy handed in their resignations.
    This in the wake of questions about missing cash from the hospital cashpans.

  7. lol Neil was never a batsman. I think he even tried some bowling. Lets hope he can stand up to the wicket as the Board and all Health conscious ANguillians support him in these changes. There will be an onlsaught of attacks.

    I would also like to see more improvements in patient services at the fornt end. Make the lobby more like a first class hotel entry so that people can feel comfortable. And stop wasting money reserving Top Hotels conference rooms for meetings. Improve the Hospital OCnference room with state of the art equipment so we can save money and have more meetings there for the Staff and Board.

    The Board Motto for the next year should be saving Health care dollars for betetr patient services. Lets keep the Patient and clients in focus. Stop wasting gas on luxury foreign vehicles when a mini car can do the job.

  8. From the onset, the establishment of the AHA was veiled in secrecy and a lack of transparency. Dexter James was employed by the GOA to advise on the implementation of the Authority and due to his cunning abilities wound up being the CEO of the AHA. Dexter was facilitated in acquiring this lofty position by the then PS of Health. This assistance I'm sure the PS has come to regret.

    Dexter must have been born with a silver spoon between his very prominent lips, for he was blessed with a board who worshipped him. The former AHA board, headed by a highly educated but incompetent chairwoman carried out the whims and fancies of the CEO in collusion with the two-faced Human Resource Manager. You could be fired at the whim of Dexter James and his cronies or your life made a living hell until you were forced to leave the organization. Such was the fate of some of our local doctors and nurses along with a number of personnel in management who didn't satisfy the "lofty ideals" of the Dexter James regime. Dexter was given full reign by the former Minister of Health to run rough-shod over all and sundry in the new administration whom he deemed unsuitable; no questions asked.

    A most significant development in the life of the James administration was the recruitment of the former head auditor of government who assumed the role of Finance Manager. This in my view was a conflict of interest as this person audited the AHA prior to her joining the organization. The new FM has succeeded in putting the finances of the AHA in a grand and irreparable mess. There are allegations of monies being unaccounted for. The FM has tendered her resignation which is to me not at all surprising.

    With the coming to office of a new minister of health after the general elections in 2005, the days of Dexter James and his board were numbered. The honourable Evans McNeil Rogers must be commended for his forthright and decisive action taken in dealing with the past board and implementing a new one. It is almost laughable the way the minister ignored the former board until they got the message and fired themselves. That sorry set was simply a rubber stamp for the self serving CEO.

    The new AHA board is a far cry from that group of numbskulls who grossly lacked the backbone to stand up to Dexter, the conniving Trickidaddian. Dr. LLoyd and his colleagues must be commended for taking decisive and radical action in getting rid of a head who sought to control and dictate arbitrarily the entire Health Authority. Good riddance!!

    I am assured that the new board will continue to rid this critical entity of that "Dexter James" mentality and help to engender a new outlook for this most critical aspect of our country's development; Health.

    It is also hoped and anticipated that the new board will launch an audit investigation into the financial dealings of the former CEO and his Finance Manager before they are allowed to leave the shores of Anguilla.

  9. Time for you to expose Anglec Mr. Mitchell. The fuel surcharge, the 5000000.00 net profit for last year; the 30% dividend they are going to pay shareholders; the unlawful"interest" of 2% per month they arbitrarilly impose if a bill is paid " late".
    Do your thing Ombudsman.

  10. Unfortunately, the latest annual report available on their website, http://www.anglec.com , is for the year 2005. That's a whole lot better than Social Security, but it's not good enough.

  11. Since you have, by my count, at least three different internet providers, and at least two cell phone providers, exactly why -- given the cutthroat competition for both electric generation *and* distribution in London, for instance -- do you guys still have an energy *monopoly* on Anguilla?

  12. Small population coupled with enormous capital costs make it practically impossible for a competitive start-up, plus Government would more likely than not resist a start up, given that they " privatised" Anglec and their freinds and associated companies snapped up the shares. It is therefore a no no.

  13. Anglec has discouraged all attempts to bring in alternative energy, other than for very small scale hobbyists. They operate like utility companies did in the 1950s, when fuel was cheap and the more power they sold, the better. They seem to view energy conservation as something that can interfere with their plans to continually upgrade their generating capacity. The Public Utilities Commission, which could mandate progressive changes, seems to have little interest in anything that would benefit the consumer. The Minister thinks his job is to build roads.

    If Anglec had any real interest in energy conservation they would buy a container of compact fluorescents and sell them to us at cost. Instead, they put out a booklet a year ago, and our courageous newspaper editor gushed, "The Guide Booklet puts ANGLEC in an even more favourable light in the public domain and is testimony that the company has the interest of the people at heart. It is an unselfish and good public relations step which deserves high commendation."

    It's hopeless.

  14. The last thing we need in ANguilla is a move towards compact fluorscent bulbs. I know the campaign in the developed world to implement this. But lets face it, we would have more problems from a change to fluorescent bulbs if we do not have the means to properly dispose of them. The mercury that these bulbs contain and the damage it can cause to our people is too great a risk in Anguilla at this time.

    However, I believe the government can simply legislate that by 2020, 20% of ANGLEC energy should be from renewable sources. This can help generate interest from private investors, local or foreign to explore this avenue. I know I am interested.

  15. Anyone concerned about the mercury in compact fluorescents hasn't been to Corito and seen how we take dead and diseased animals, toxic heavy metals like cadmium from rechargeable batteries and other products, lead and sulfuric acid from car batteries and a thousand and one other horrors, and dump the whole mess on top of the water table while our Ministers give speeches about sustainable development and the protection of our environment.

  16. >However, I believe the government can simply
    >legislate that by 2020, 20% of ANGLEC energy
    >should be from renewable sources.

    You can't legislate physics, much less prices. Prices are *discovered* in auction markets, not "calculated" by bureaucrats, and certainly not legislated -- even if the legislation is sold to the highest bidder :-).

    Legislating prices is something that Mao and Stalin used to do, and their success in doing so was, shall we say, marginal in its effectiveness...

    Again, if you "privatize" a government monopoly, you still have a monopoly. There is no such thing as a "natural" monopoly, with the possible exception of force.

    Deregulate your electric markets, no matter how small they are, and you'll get competition and lower prices. Especially for "alternative" sources of energy, which require free markets, not government subsidy or regulatory fiat, to develop.

    "Prices aren't just made up." -- Walter Williams

  17. Walte Williams quoter;
    Pray tell where the competition and lower prices are in Anguilla with electricity??
    Au contraire, they have jacked up the cost to the consumer with all sorts of sleights of hand. Ever notice that the fuel surcharge never goes down? Ever notice that it increases immeadiately the price of oil goes up, even though their supply contracts are at fixed prices purchased a year and sometimes more in advance.

    the Govt needs to directly regulate the supply and prices of electricity and to commission an investigation.
    notice how they are arbitrarilly planting high tension polesalong the highway and through Little Harbour. 34000 volts og high tension electricity will flow non stop through those lines. They dont care that the poles are too near people's homes. They dont care that they are right on the edge of the highway so that if a car skinds off the road iy runs slam bang into these time bombe.
    They seem to forget that the Statute no longer can legally give them the same latitude it gave Anglec when Anglec was a Government owned Corporation.
    Sooner rathet than later they will be taken to Court and then they will learn their manners.

  18. You would be surprise that some American States require that their Electricity companies have at least 10% renewable energy. This open up the way for many private individuals to sell electricity to the main grid and hence get in the business of reneawable energy

    Only Victor Banks like to use that crap about markets deciding prices. DO your research. Tell that to the Americans when they subsidising their farmers.

    We would be the laughing stock of the caribbean to allow another electricity company to be in Anguilla. Are you trying to freeze our people brains with so much power. lol


    I suppose we should get back to the main topic which is health.

  19. >Pray tell where the competition and lower prices
    >are in Anguilla with electricity??

    Nowhere. Because you have a monopoly. :-)

    >Tell that to the Americans when they subsidizing > their farmers.

    Two wrongs don't make a right? Farm subsidies are evil. :-).

    Again, in London, there *is* competition for electricity; I wasn't *talking* about America, was I? :-)


    >I suppose we should get back to the main topic
    >which is health.

    Indeed. And you have such tight regulations on your medical establishment that a single person can apparently control it at a whim.

    The answer? More competition. Denationalize your "healthcare" "system" and make it a medical market, instead.

    BTW, Victor Banks, a guy with a degree from the avowedly leftist "New" School for "Social Research", in NYC, is now talking like a free-marketer. Ever wonder why? He grew up. The market works.

    "Planning" fails. It's corrupt. It's nepotistic. It's cronyism.

    The grand paradox of modern times is that the more regulations there are in a market, the more bad actors in the government can hold up working people at the point of a rubber stamp: the higher the prices are, the lower the quality of service, and so on. It's a fact.

    If taxation is a form of organized theft, then regulation is second only to inflation as the cruelest tax of all.

  20. Anonymous said, "More competition. Denationalize your "healthcare" "system" and make it a medical market, instead."

    Thank you for an excellent contribution. And by the same reasoning, if secondary and tertiary students were allowed to choose their courses and teachers, and teachers were paid on the basis of how many students they taught and how many passed, the "education free market" would correct many of the ills we see at ALHCS today.

  21. " The Market works" ??
    You are not referring to the U.S.A or Great Britain, two of the most regulated economies on earth. The only place the " market works" in those countries is in the remuneration packages for CEO's, and that is a " market" created, regulated and corrupted by and for the CEO's.

    Preach your utterly baseless diatribe elsewhere.The most successful societies are those in which regulation is present.

  22. Back to Anglec for a minute:
    "notice how they are arbitrarilly planting high tension polesalong the highway and through Little Harbour. 34000 volts og high tension electricity will flow non stop through those lines. They dont care that the poles are too near people's homes. They dont care that they are right on the edge of the highway so that if a car skinds off the road iy runs slam bang into these time bomb"

    Why can't we bury our cables more often?
    An answer might come back: because it is expensive - and, yes, it is expensive.
    Response: The EU hs a fund to pay for the burying of cables etc in cyclone-prone overseas territories. If you drive in SXM you will have noticed that the authorities have placed a lot of cable underground; ditto other nearby islands. GEBE and EDF cannot afford to do this by themselves. It is funded by the EU. There is nothing to stop ANGLEC getting the same funding. I hear that the reason it has not happened was because Marcel Fahie did not want to go through the application process or generally have any dealings woth the EU. The funding is still available.
    Come the next Hurricane Luis, AXA will be trying to re-string the cables for 3 or 4 months, just like they were in 1995. A whole tourism high season will be lost with serious consequences for the workers' livelihoods. On the contrary, SXM will be fully recovered in a matter of days or hours. We know that another Luis will come. It is a question of 'when', not 'if'.

  23. The EU does not have a "fund" for line burial. It will FUND line burial. It will also fund airport expansions and a lot of other things. Anguilla gets a certain amount per year, to use for any such approved use. We made the choice to use it toward the cost of our airport extension project.

    The Netherlands Antilles is a bankrupt failed state with a national debt of about NAf 5 billion. They may not be the standard to which we should aspire.

  24. Victor was all too happy to socialise Health Care insurance mandatory. WHy is it persons who have private health insurance are still required to pay for government health insurance.

    He knows when to twist that crap about only the market can regulated prices. It's about time people in AXA realize we have one of the most incompetent Ministers of Finance.

    A Minister of Finance must be judge on how he can control inflation. Keeping inflation under control should be a main focus. Our island is running away from us with these outrageous prices.

    Sadly, we have a Minister who reads obsolete books about market forces.

  25. The Californai energy crisis in the 1990s taught Americans a lesson about energy deregulation. It plunge the cities into darkness how the big powerful forces were maipulating the prices so the people can pay higher fees. It was one of the first States to deregulate the industry. We can't expect AXA to do everything the American way.

    ANGLEC is owned by the people of ANguilla. It is best if we work with what we have and try to encourage renewable energy too. WHy would we want another company to come in and bankrupt our little company in such a small market.

    But overrral great points about underground wires and controlling prices.

  26. 1. To point to California as a model for deregulation is, well, hilarious. Again, I point to the UK, where deregulation works. California-style partial deregulation is kinda like drinking partially treated sewage. You might be able to see though it, but you wouldn't wanna drink it.

    2. Remember that *all* enterprise in the Soviet Union, or Mao-era China, or Castro's Cuba, and, soon enough, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, and Evo Morales' Bolivia, is/was/will be government owned. I think they all prove my point rather handily.

    If you think government ownership, or, equally bad, government-created monopoly, is the way for any enterprise to be run, I'll have some of what you're smoking...

  27. It seems as if everyone has something t o say but I have not heard anyone engaging in a workable solution for our crisis.It is good to point fingers at each other but where does that really get us?I say it only creates more chaos.What we need is seroius research on the viability of deregulation of our public utilities,and feasibility studies on running underground cables .Our health care system might be in need of some reworking but lets not jump the gun and go messing with a system thats in place to change it before we weigh the pros and cons of such a change.Hon Rogers is presently working on that aspect of our healthcare system ,so are we trying to derail his efforts before they get onthe way?
    We should not be to quick to act or respond to the suggestions of others,becuase what works in the USA or Britian would not necessarily work here in Anguilla where our population is but a micro scale of these mega societies.We have to take into consideration these facts and move on accordingly.Any premature move or miscalculation will be catastrophic and possibly result in the collaspe of our economic structure.Ours is a fragile one at most and we need prudent overseer to maintain this delicate balance before we all suffer.

  28. ANguilla Plan to have comprehensive health insurance is a great idea. Where the goverment made a huge mistake is by making those who already have health insurance also pay for government insurance.

    They should be happy ANguillians can afford private health care and not try and discourage this. No way this madatory health insurance is sustainable. As soon as the primary health doctors start sending ANguillians overseas for all these diagnostics test, we will realise our mistake. I have seen so manuy instances where physiciaisn have oredered a CAt Scan on a simple case when a Ultra sound could have tell them what's wrong.

    In the USA, DOctors are afraid to get sue and so they are requiring the whole spectrum of tests. ANd this is where we will be sending our people.

    A CAt scan can cost over 10K. The government should relook at this proposal to do away with persons who want to pay for private health insurance.

    Also who is to say that ANguillians want the government to know who specialist they are going to see? Remember these bills have to come back to the Health System. We better becareful with this thing.


    By the way any news on the NICA meeting last evening?

  29. The NICA meeting on Monday evening was adjourned to Monday 5 November at the same time and place. This was in accordance with the Bylaws of the company. It was done because there was not a quorum to permit the meeting to go ahead. On 5 November, no matter how few of the shareholders are present, they will constitute the quorum.


  30. Mr.Mitchell;

    Does that section in the Companies law apply to Public companies?/ Or only to non public companies??

  31. Hooray, Mr Rogers,thanks for a job well done. Why should Dexter be here running the health Authority. we have qualified Anguillians that can do the job well.But who ever Anguillian get the job the same should be applied to them. if they do not function send them home. You are 100 % right. I do not know if you have anything to do with the fire department but The fire chief should be sent home. how long has he been in Anguilla. When would his mission be accomplished? Or he has forgotten what he has come to Anguilla for, I would suggest that he goes back. He had enough time to complete his task.

  32. Anguillians or not must do their work. Anguilla civil service is full of non doers, I hope that this be looked into. Everyone wants positions just for positions sake and it would be interesting what happens in the not too far distance within the civil service. I hope that justice be done.

  33. Mr Rogers, for every foreing nurse train an Anguillian and pharmacy that should be on your agenda now Well done, it takes guts to make decisions and we support you in this regard.

  34. I need clairfication did the Fire chielf came to Anguilla to work or to set up training, or hiring of who he wants to the fire department. I am only asking. I just can not believe that he came as an advisor still here and if he came to train and no one has filled the position yet. I just need to know.

  35. We had some very serious men in the fire service who served us admirably for over 15 years. All they needed was more support with overseas training. And as soon as This Trini came in he demoralise them becasue they didn't have a degree.

    Let me tell you all something, I live and work in the USa and you don't need a degree to be a fireman. We should try and get these experience people back in our service. I think the Fire Chief had enough time to set up the transitions phase and now he needs to go back home.

    Many of our fireman did lots of training in the UK. And we should continue these short course professional stints for ANguillians who are committed to the fire service. All we need is a Fire Chief who understands some management and leadership and who is prepared to improve the service.

  36. This is ridiculous, i need to contact the health authority of anguilla and i cant find the phone number anywhere, no web site either! trust me do a google search on health authority of anguilla and you wont find it. Everybody seems to be talking about politics, development and becoming a better health care system. Start by implementing electronic communications into your big offices and services in Anguilla!

  37. Today from CANA News:

    "ANGUILLA-HEALTH-HIV educators to embark on national testing programme

    "THE VALLEY, Anguilla, CMC – Health officials in this British Overseas Territory say they will be embarking a campaign aimed at encouraging nationals to learn their HIV status."

    Why they didn't do this 25 years ago? How many have died because of their negligence?

  38. HIV is a real and present issue. Until each one of us realises that our health is in our own hands and stop living our life as if we are above illness.

    The Campaign is timely. Sadly, like everything else they feel we need to hear Jamaican music to come out and support it. I am so sick of that dancehall crap.

    Sometimes I wonder if only the party people need informing. That money would have been better spend by putting on a play or some kind of competition.

    NO new ideas and an entire generation has passed us by.

  39. Are the New Health Authority Board members actually looking for change? I wish them well in their endeavors. Hopefully, they have selected an individual who is qualified, capable and committed to bringing about the much needed change. I understand there were several qualified candidates who came from near and far to be interviewed. Among the candidates were well qualified Anguillians. Was the final selection made because of qualifications and capabilities or because of political connections and political favors owed???? It will all be revealed in the performance or lack of performance of the new CEO.

  40. So does anyone yet know the name of the new CEO of the Health Authority? When is he/she due to take up post?


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