Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Not only Ferguson should be fired in health ministry - doctor

Published:Sunday | November 8, 2015 | 11:23 AM
The outgoing Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson (right) seen with Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse (left), chief medical officer in the health ministry and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey

Well-known medical doctor and social commentator Michael Abrahams says Dr Fenton Ferguson should not be the only person removed from the health ministry.

Amid an avalanche of criticisms that span last year’s chikungunya outbreak to the four bacterial infection outbreaks at two of the country’s main public hospitals this year that resulted in the deaths of 19 neonates, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday announced that Ferguson has been reassigned to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Abrahams charges that under Ferguson’s leadership, the health ministry failed to effectively communicate with the Jamaican people and did not make decisions that were in their best interest of the population. Further, the physician indicates that other key technocrats in the health ministry should also share the blame.

As a result, he says the ministry’s team of medical advisors should be examined and at least one of them should step aside, but stopped short of calling names.

Ferguson is to be replaced by Horace Dalley, who has served as minister with responsibility for the Public Service since 2011. The changes take effect tomorrow.

In the meantime, Abrahams contends that transferring Ferguson to another ministry is disturbing.

While commending Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for removing him from the health ministry, Abrahams says Ferguson may be carrying incompetence to another department of government.

He says the outgoing health minister has shown that he is not a strong, effective and competent leader and expresses concern that in light of the glaring evidence of poor management, he is being transferred to another government ministry.