In yet another high profile resignation, Marilyn Taylor-Duncan, who was hired as a General Manager for Organisational Effectiveness in the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA), quit her position after questions over her Masters' Degree (MA) qualifications surfaced recently.
Taylor-Duncan, who was surprisingly given a short stint to act as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), when Paul Taylor, who was acting in the position at the time had taken a few days leave, has also reportedly left the island for the United States of America (USA).
According to inside sources, Taylor-Duncan had just been in the job for a mere two months, when she was asked to act as the CEO. This latest development has once again thrown the spotlight on the recruitment and hiring practices of the TRHA. It has been a thorny issue ever since Dr. Mentor Melville waged a sustained battle with a previous TRHA Board headed by Insurance Executive Keith Charles after he was bypassed for the position of CEO in favour of George Bell. A rampant Dr. Melville charged that the entire recruitment and hiring process was unfair and unjust.
He was able to unearth documentary evidence to support his contention that Bell did not possess the required academic qualifications for the job. After several media expose on the issue, Bell resigned from the post. Under a newly configured Board headed by former Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) Tobago Manager Jennifer Sampson-Brown the TRHA restarted the entire process.
Following months of uncertainty, when once again lingering questions resurfaced about the recruitment process, former CEO of the Southwest Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Paula Chester-Cumberbatch was hired to the top health post a mere two weeks ago. Many health professionals are looking on with baited breath to see how the new CEO would deal with the many challenges confronting the healthcare system of the sister-isle. After receiving information from a reliable health source about the flight of Taylor-Duncan, efforts to contact Chester-Cumberbatch were unsuccessful.
Tobago News was finally able to get Secretary for Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke to comment on the issue last week Thursday. She confirmed that Taylor-Duncan had submitted her resignation to the TRHA. "I have been holding discussions with both the CEO and the Chairman of the Board on the issue," she declared. Questioned about the seeming lack of due diligence in the recruitment and hiring process of the TRHA, Groome-Duke stressed that this matter was already being addressed. "We have put the necessary systems in place that would allow us to do the kind of background checks on all staff hired to work in our health care system," she stated.