Linden Hospital Board dubbed “illegal”

first_imgThe status of the Board of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) is in limbo once again, as it continues to be dubbed as “illegal”. During a recent public consultation of the medical institution, former Regional Health Committee Chairman and Member of the Board, Maurice Butters, questioned the legitimacy of the recently reconstituted LHC Board, when he posed the question to Junior Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings, asking when the LHC would have a legally constituted Board. Butters hase always questioned the status of the Board, arguing that the Board was not installed correctly, and as such, it is illegal. However, in response to the question posed, member of the recently reconstituted Board, Valerie Adams-Patterson, noted that as far as she knew, the Board was legal.Dr Karen Cummings“As far as I know, the Board of the Linden Hospital Complex was sanctioned by the Cabinet, it was advertised in the official gazette and for me… it’s legal,” she indicated.Butters argued, alleging that just a couple months ago, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton visited Linden following the instillation of the Board and made it clear that “the Board is not a legal body”.“There is no instrument to create that Board and they promised to have it done and since then to now nothing has happened…it was not published in the gazette either. What has happened, is that the Service Agreement which was signed by the Linden Hospital Complex and the Ministry of Health talks about a ‘Board’, and that is how the word ‘Board’ came in to operation, but it is a Management Committee, not a Board, since 1996 to two years ago,” Butters contended.He said further that draft legislations had been prepared in the past by the LHC Management Committee to corporatise the medical institution, then a Board would have been established based on that, however this was not done.“We need to go back to that document and based on what is there in that document, it would lead the way forward,” Butters said.In her response, Minister Cummings said Butters’ question was a very important one, more so since the Ministry is looking at regional health authorities and health sector reforms.“I do agree with you (Butters). I guess the Senior Minister would have agreed because we are the Ministers of Health and if something doesn’t reach our desk…we are going to rectify the situation…we will get back to you on it,” she stated.In moving forward, the Minister asked Butters if he is happy with the Board or would like to change anything about it, to which he said he hopes the situation is speedily rectified.However, speaking with Guyana Times on Thursday, Butters stated that there has been no official word on the way forward as yet, while reiterating that the Board has never been legal. According to him, Cabinet cannot give legality to a Board.“There’s a process, and that has not been done. It must be published in the official gazette and there must be an instrument used. The instrument is that there must be an Act, which must be passed and gazetted. We already prepared a draft which was sent to the former Minister of Health and nothing happened,” he said.Butters asked that the Public Health Ministry revisit the Act and the document, which he said states clearly how the Board is to be formed. In times past, he has attributed many administrative issues at the LHC, due to the “illegitimacy” of the Board which, he said, has its hands tied and as such, cannot make its own decisions.last_img