Jul 19, 2016 News
-Chairman convenes meeting to find resolution
A crisis is reportedly unfolding at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Reports suggest that the Director of Nursing Services (Matron), Collene Hicks, of the premiere health facility, is at the centre of the state of
This publication was privy to a series of allegations which imply that not only has the Matron failed to be a team player but she is, from all indications, against moves to have nurses of the facility be exposed to specialists training.
According to medical practitioners attached to the GPHC, the patients are the ones who are being affected by the prevailing situation which has been ongoing for some time.
Reliable information reaching this publication yesterday was that a petition to have the Matron’s service terminated was signed by 150 health care personnel including nurses and doctors attached to the GPHC. Some of them are threatening to resign if the situation is not addressed.
The petition has reportedly been forwarded to the Board of Directors of the hospital which is chaired by Dr. Carl ‘Max’ Hanoman. The petition was premised on the fact that the Matron has been consistently dismantling the clinical team of the hospital. This is reportedly demonstrated by her action to re-assign nurses under her charge to other areas other than where the need is demanded.
Several doctors attached to the facility have accused the Matron of being unwilling to work with them and that she has been denying them the quota of nurses they request. They claim that this development opposes a promise the Matron made when she was reinstated to function in that capacity last year.
The services of the Matron, under the management of Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Khan, was around mid-last year terminated. Khan had said his reason for terminating Hicks’ service was due to “gross insubordination.”
Hicks was appointed to the position of Director of Nursing Services on March 16, 2015 but was terminated on June 15, 2015 when her probation period would have matured.
Hicks had, however, refused to accept the letter of termination and had gotten the support of the Guyana Public Service Union which was unrelenting in its representation.
Hicks continued to report for work even after the locks were changed on the door of the Matron’s office to deny her access.
However, the Matron was reinstated to her position by September 2015 and Khan was sent off on administrative leave to facilitate a forensic audit of the hospital.
Acting in the capacity of CEO ever since is Mr. Alan Johnson. But according to reports out of the health facility, the Matron continues to act in an insubordinate manner. It is alleged that the Matron has elevated some individuals in her charge as a reward for supporting her while she contested her termination.
Moreover, the group calling for Hicks’ termination, is also calling for a review of all those who have been promoted since she resumed the duties of Matron.
There are reports that although the Board is aware of the Matron’s manner of operation, it is reluctant to intervene for fear of having to deal with the Union.
However, when contacted yesterday, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Hanoman, said that he was aware of the concerns at the GPHC. In fact, at the time of reacting to this publication, he revealed that he was preparing to convene a meeting at the hospital in order to address the prevailing concerns and derive a workable resolution.
Dr. Hanoman, however, acknowledged that there is a tremendous shortage of nurses at the GPHC. He noted too, that while the Matron is an individual with sophisticated views that could work well in first world countries, the shortage situation has over time forced the GPHC to cut around the corners. “She has high standards but the methods may not be ideal for us but we will try to come to a resolution. We have a tremendous shortage and we have to bite the bullet and do things we shouldn’t sometimes…we will have to adjust,” Dr. Hanoman related.
The Chairman of the Board also divulged plans yesterday to host a press conference tomorrow at which the issues affecting the hospital and the way forward will be addressed.
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