A new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) is expected to be officially announced after Carnival.
This assurance was given by Secretary for Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke during an exclusive interview with Tobago News last Sunday.
Contacted by telephone for updates on several outstanding issues plaguing the health system of the island, Groome-Duke expressed confidence in her ability to resolve them in the shortest possible time period. "I would have liked to announce the new CEO before Carnival but the matter is before the Executive Council and once the nominee is ratified there, we would be in a position to make the necessary announcement soon," she said.
However, a Newsday article on Wednesday quoted Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan confirming that former chief executive officer (CEO) of the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, has been offered the post of CEO of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA). Cumberbatch also confirmed she was interviewed for the position, adding that she is eager to begin work in Tobago.
On the plight of the Tobago graduate nurses, who have been unemployed since last year April, Groome-Duke reiterated that all nurses would come on board very soon. As soon as we have completed the filling of vacancies for our senior staff nurses, there would be room for all the graduate nurses," she stressed.
On the issue of outstanding arrears for clerical staff of the TRHA, Groome-Duke revealed that there was a slight delay in the system while clarification on a certain issue was being sought between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO). "This has since been resolved and TRHA staff is presently working assiduously on the calculations for each officer to receive his or her money," she stated. Questioned about reports of the hiring and firing of a podiatrist (food care specialist) after just a few months on the job, Groome-Duke expressed surprise about this new development. "I would have to seek further information about this and get back to you," she declared.