Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Don't move Chris Tufton!

Published:Friday | October 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There was a recent piece of news circulating throughout the media that spoke to the intent of the current prime minister, Andrew Holness, to reshuffle his Cabinet.

While a Cabinet reshuffle, similar to the privilege of being selected to serve in the executive, is the prerogative of the prime minister, I would like to lend my two cents in relation to one minister who I believe should remain.

As a young Jamaican working in the health sector, I am well acquainted with the challenges that the sector stakeholders endure daily. As an informed citizen, I am also familiar with the resource constraints that have hamstrung any effort at a complete overhaul of the health system.

With all of this in mind, I am still feeling more hopeful than ever about the prospects of serious improvement in the health sector. I believe that this new-found hope is born out of the approach taken by the current minister of health, Dr Christopher Tufton, without striving to be deliberately unfair to any of his predecessors.

I can truly say that his style of leadership and approach have made me feel good about the public-health sector and especially about what it can become.

The initiatives set in motion by Dr Tufton, inclusive of the pilot programmes aimed at reducing waiting periods to both have access to doctors as well as medication, has, by most indications, been most beneficial. Other steps, such as the ongoing provision of the HPV vaccine to adolescent females are all pointing to a fresh mindset within the Ministry of Health.

It cannot be stated that all is well. Certainly, the infrastructure is in dire need of improvement, and staff retention is still an issue. However, I believe firmly that Dr Tufton and his team may very well prove salubrious to the entire country.

Please don't move him.

NOEL MATHERSON

noelmatherson@gmail.com