It will be difficult to argue that the outgoing CMO was not the consummate public servant. He upheld the law at great personal and to the ultimate sacrifice. He educated the public on matters of health and national policy and he spoke truths that were unpopular but difficult to ignore. He was devoted to the development of the health sector. For that he deserves public commendation. The country will forever be thankful to the outgoing CMO for his work. Thank you Doc.
But there are aspects of his tenure that are puzzling and troubling.He accumulated approximately 365working days of vacation leave; that is almost 14 years’worth of leave. This suggests that no one else received an opportunity to practice the skills of CMO. It suggests that he didn’t see any of his colleagues as being up to the task. It suggests that he didn’t mentor anyone to take over for when he demitted office. It suggests that he was prepared to continue in the job way past the mandatory 60 years. It is good and proper that he informed of his age, but it appears he did not signal any intention to depart. Perhaps he did not deem his mission complete unless he witnessed the implementation of a Universal Health Care programme and the control/banning of “factree” food in favour of tree food.
Starting in June, the accumulated vacation days means that the post of CMO cannot be properly filled until17 months later, untilNovember 2017. What are we to do meanwhile? That is the danger. In being allowed to take his vacation, the government was gracious as the civil service rules only allows an accumulation of 2 years’ worth of leave once every 5 years; anything over that is forfeited. His wasn’t.
Meanwhile, we are hearing that there is and there isn’t stem cell research being conducted on our people. Stem cell research is a very controversial issue because of the possible sources of these stem cells. Whether it was stem cell research or plasma infusion therapy that was being practiced is not really the issue. Rather the issue is how come he didn’t know of it, despite the fact that the project inception was pre- February 2015.
It was interesting to hear the Opposition, who ignored much of his advice for nigh 20 years criticise the way he has been retired, but such is the nature of politics in St Kitts & Nevis.
So, continue the graciousness. Call him in and give him a nice send off. That would have allowed for a smooth transition rather than this rancorous send off. Tis unhealthy!