Fri | Mar 23, 2018

Get the facts straight, De La Haye

Published:Thursday | March 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM


It is now clear as day that the nation's chief medical officer, Dr Winston De La Haye, should resign forthwith. Anything less would be a slap in the face of well-thinking Jamaicans and, importantly, the integrity of the health ministry that has suffered from years of poor administration and the peddling in public of inaccurate or poorly researched data.

I heard both Professor Wendel Abel, the deputy chairman of the National Council for Drug Abuse (NCDA), and its executive director, Michael Tucker, completely throwing out De La Haye's insistence in the public domain that there has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of children and adolescents using ganja, based on the NCDA's recent study.

In fact, both gentlemen argued on national radio that there is no data anywhere in the study to support such a claim.




If the surgeon general of the United States, who is the operational head of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States, were to have found himself in such a predicament, his resignation would have been swift and unequivocal.

For Dr De La Haye to have the ear of our minister of health, who some argue is one of the best and brightest in the Government's Cabinet, is disturbing and simply cannot be allowed to continue. Dr De La Haye, as everyone in Jamaica should know, plays or has played a leadership role at NCDA and has maintained strict hostility towards ganja for as long as many can remember. As such, one can easily infer a possible conflict of interest.

Dr Tufton needs to dial back a bit on his arrogant dismissal of constructive criticism and go back to the good job he has been doing at restoring integrity at the Ministry of Health.

Victoria Wilson (PhD)

Orlando, Florida, USA