Guy urges Tufton to respond to assertions made about his interference in work of former UHWI board
Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Morais Guy is urging Portfolio Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton to respond to assertions, reportedly made about his interference and overreach in the work of the former University Hospital of the West Indies, (UHWI) board.
The assertions were reportedly made by former board Chairman Wayne Chai Chong.
Mr. Chong and Dr. Andre Foote recently resigned from the board and were replaced by new chair Patrick Hylton and Dwain Deandre Cox.
In a statement on Tuesday, Dr. Guy said the former chairman’s assertions of ministerial interference are serious and may constitute ministerial misbehaviour.
He said Mr. Chong’s detailing of the issues leading to his resignation and the subsequent dissolving of the board gives a pattern of inappropriate behaviour in the recruitment of a new chief executive officer for the hospital.
Consequently, Dr. Guy said Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton must give a public explanation of his actions in the recruitment process.
Dr. Guy said it was the board’s duty and mandate to ensure transparency in executing the process, in which the minister has no direct role.
The opposition spokesman warned that the matter had the potential to affect services at UHWI and the wider public health care system.
He said after the former chairman’s statement, he is more convinced of potential disruption at the hospital due to bad blood between top management and top medical staff at the hospital.
Dr. Guy said it is not an issue which will disappear with the installation of a new board.
Dr. Guy concluded that the opposition required assurances that the hospital’s working environment was free of toxicity and normalcy would prevail at the institution which is critical to the delivery of health services to a large percentage of the Jamaican population.