General / Health / Weekend News

Will heads roll at WRH?

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

After learning of a rat biting a newborn inside the incubator at the Western Regional Hospital, the Ministry of Health has begun the search for who will be held accountable.

Chief Executive Officer in the MOH,
Dr. Peter Allen explained this week, that the ministry has started the process by writing letters to both the Regional Manager, and the Hospital Administrator, requiring them to
explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.

The letters, Allen added, have been
copied to the Ministry of Public Service in accordance with the ministry’s regulations.

“We’re trying to make sure that while we do hold people responsible and accountable, we also have regard all the time for due process”, Allen

Pending the response of those
letters other members of staff may also need to explain themselves to the ministry.  After a very detailed process, outlined within the public service regulations, the officer
or officers deemed to be responsible, should the investigation reveal any, will face disciplinary action.

Minister of Health Pablo Marin, last week attributed the situation to the hospital’s administrators not doing their jobs, and foreshadowed the
Ministry of Public Service’s involvement.

“Definitely I am blaming the managers. I am hoping, because I have brought it up already, that I wish that all managers be on contract, so that the day you don’t do your job we can fire you immediately. But because of public service regulations it is hard for us to do that”, Marin said.

On September 3, the rat, which entered the incubator through unknown means, bit a newborn child on its toe.The video footage, first released by Channel 7 News, has been aired on several regional and international media outlets, including CNN.

The building, which has been deemed
as old and dilapidated by the ministry of Health was, in April of this year, found to have a rat infestation with the pantry.

Ministry officials have assured that through a $30 million grant through the 11th European Development Fund, an “essentially new” facility will be constructed to replace the WRH.

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