It is now touch and go for the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) as the countdown has begun for the opening of the new Scarborough General Hospital in Signal Hill.
Following another rounds of meeting with the Ministry of Health (MOH) last Monday, Tobago News was reliably informed that the date for the opening has been brought forward by one day from the previously announced April 5, Holy Thursday.
"We were told that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar would not be available on that day so they have requested the opening to be on the Wednesday, April 4, instead," the source disclosed.
Contacted about this new development, Secretary for Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke confirmed the date change for the opening.
"We are all working together to ensure that the hospital, which can be considered as the life blood of our people would be delivered on the new date," she remarked.
Even as the pace quickens towards the opening, concerns have been raised about certain critical processes and consultations that need to be taken to allow for a smooth transition into the new hospital.
Tobago News was told that the appointment of senior staff nurses to head posts in the new hospital remains outstanding.
"The shock resignation of Marilyn Taylor-Duncan who as Manager for Organisational Effectiveness was leading this recruitment and hiring process has impacted negatively on the appointment of senior nurses to head the various top positions in the new hospital," explained one health professional.
Taylor-Duncan reportedly quit after questions surfaced about her Master's (MA) Degree qualifications. Groome-Duke was however adamant that the resignation would not derail the present recruitment and hiring process.
"We have on board our new CEO Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, who is leading the process and already we have appointed the Manager for Patient Care for the new hospital. She received her instruments last week and we are moving full speed ahead to complete the recruitment and appointment process," declared Grrome-Duke.