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Health ministry seeks new chief medical officer

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2016 | 5:54 PM
The former Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson with chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Marion Bullock Ducasse, at a function last year.

The health ministry is seeking a new chief medical officer.

This came to light in an advertisement placed in today's Sunday Gleaner.

Efforts to reach Permanent Secretary Dr Kevin Harvey, Health Minister Horace Dalley and the current Chief Medical Officer Dr Marion Bullock Ducasse for comments were unsuccessful as their phones went unanswered.

Bullock Ducasse was part of the team embroiled in the recent "Dead Babies Scandal" in which 19 premature babies died following an outbreak of the bacteria klebsiella and serratia at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St Andrew and the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

The Gleaner reported in October 2015 that she took 14 days to respond to official communication of the outbreak by hospital staff. However, she rubbished calls for resignation at the time, noting that prevailing protocols did not place any obligation on her to report all issues affecting hospitals to then Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson.

Ferguson has since been transferred to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Bullock Ducasse was also part of the team that was criticised for its poor handling of the national outbreak of the Chinkungunya virus in 2014.