Health Ministry monitoring developments in probe of racist remarks made about UK MP Diane Abbott, by head of TPP

The Health & Wellness Ministry says it is monitoring developments regarding the investigation into racist, sexist and violent remarks made by the head of a United Kingdom company with which government has a contract.

The company – The Phoenix Partnership (TPP) – has been awarded a contract for the digitization of health records in Jamaica.

TPP has come under scrutiny following discriminatory comments made by the company’s head, Frank Hester about UK Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott, whose parents are of Jamaican descent. 

There have been calls from the opposition for the government to provide information on its relations with TPP.

In a statement last evening, the Health Ministry said in February 2023, TPP was contracted to implement Jamaica’s electronic health records.

It said this contract was undertaken after TPP’s selection as the most suitable firm, following the due process of an international procurement transaction involving the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The ministry said after the award of this contract, it learnt of the incident.

It noted that following consultation with the IDB – the co-financier of the contract, and the Attorney General’s chambers, it continues its monitoring of developments in this matter, which is now the subject of a police investigation in the UK.

The Ministry said it takes this matter very seriously and is calling for appropriate action to be taken within the firm to hold Mr. Hester accountable based on the findings from the investigations.

It added that it joins the diaspora in condemning the discriminatory comments and remains committed to promoting a culture of respect, equality, and understanding including throughout its business relationships.


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