The Editor, Sir:
Some months ago, while watching the news on television, I saw Robert Montague reprimand the matron of a health facility in Portland in a most disrespectful and unprofessional manner.
During the tongue-lashing, the minister kept referring to the matron as 'ooman' and his tone was most derogatory. Like a true professional, the matron remained calm and continued to answer his questions as best she could.
My colleagues and I discussed the incident focusing on the poor example being set by public officials in a country where abuse of women remains at an unacceptably high rate. This oooman represents our mother, wife, sister or daughter.
Naturally, we were not surprised by the recent behaviour of Labour Minister Pearnel Charles and his apparent disgust that Jamaican nurses would dare to want to be able to afford a place to live, food and to send their children to university.
Mr Charles is well aware that $40,000/month is insufficient by any standard to maintain a decent standard of living and repay student loans. The public must be made aware that nursing education is not subsidised by the Government of Jamaica and is expensive.
Government ministers should never be disrespectful to Jamaican citizens and until they learn how to behave, I suggest that we discontinue calling them 'honourable' lest we confuse our children.
I am, etc.,