Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Rotate health ministry personnel

Published:Friday | May 22, 2020 | 12:06 AM
(caps) Tufton


DR CHRISTOPHER Tufton, in particular, has been the Trojan at the helm of Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means that he determines, guides and implements governmental policy, directs protocols, and coordinates the activities of technocrats within the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Additionally, his ministry has to interface with the police and military high commands, the World Health

Organization, take on board the subtle but legitimate and needed input by the opposition party in relation to COVID, he also has his constituency issues, and family to attend to.

The risk we run as a country, is that if he gets sick or snaps under sheer work pressure in these unprecedented circumstances, then his good work will fail to achieve its objectives. Therefore, as a country, we would all end up in a worse position, in spite of a fairly good approach to the pandemic thus far. We are apt to forget that the coronavirus crisis has run back-to-back with the health ministry’s fight against dengue, which itself, is still ongoing.

While my concern for the prime minister and the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ full contingent and affiliates is similar, Dr. Tufton has really served a long ,pressurised stretch, and the current situation must be taking a heavy toll on him. We must, therefore, pre-emptively think of a way to rotate personnel and put in place facilities aimed at broader delegation of duties. The ministry now needs to look both within and without to identify at least an additional point person, before there becomes an emergency.

The management needs and data-driven nature of the portfolio makes Danville Walker, former director of elections, come to mind. I am sure there will be other suggestions.

Derrick D. Simon