Jul 22, 2016 News
– move linked to reports of insubordination, staffers’ complaints
A recommendation has been made for the Director of Nursing Services (Matron) of the Georgetown
Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Sister Collene Hicks, to proceed on administrative leave with immediate effect.
This will facilitate the setting up of a Committee of Inquiry to investigate actions of the Matron that that are in contravention of her role and responsibilities.
This disclosure was yesterday made by Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Carl ‘Max’ Hanoman, during a press conference he called yesterday.
According to Dr. Hanoman, it has also been recommended that, while on administration leave, Hicks be eligible for all her benefits.
Dr. Hanoman told a gathering of media representatives that the recommendation was offered by Chief Executive Officer (ag), Mr. Alan Johnson. This is in light of the fact, Dr. Hanoman said, that “the Chairman of the Board has no authority to send anybody home.”
Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton in an invited comment to this publication had said that he had instructed the Board to deal with the issue involving the Matron. He had also suggested that the matter be dealt with before it is addressed in the media.
But according to Dr. Hanoman yesterday, “the Minister cannot instruct the Board. This Board is not subject to instruction from Governmental agencies; we are an independent body and we will always act in the best interest of the hospital and the nation.” He however reiterated that the move to deal with the Matron is not the mandate of the Board. Such actions, he said, rests in the hands of the CEO, who is essentially the administrative director of the hospital.
The CEO (ag) was not present at yesterday’s press conference.
However, Dr. Hanoman said yesterday that it is expected that the outcome of an investigation would determine the way forward. “It is a fair transparent process; not a preconceived means of dismissing the Matron. It is a fair action so that things can be smooth.”
This publication was reliably informed that Hicks, who had gotten word of plans to have her sent on administrative leave, decided to apply for annual leave which she proceeded on yesterday. The Chairman was, however, unable yesterday to verify whether the Matron had indeed proceeded on leave. “This is hearsay…but whether she takes annual leave or not, administrative leave facilitates investigation into the matter from an independent body,” said Dr. Hanoman.
Moreover, he noted that the hospital will be tasked with finding an independent body or people who are neutral, to conduct the investigation.
Once the Matron is off on administrative leave, Dr. Hanoman said that a suitable candidate will be selected to fill the gap.
The recommendation for Hicks to be sent off on administrative leave was forthcoming at a Board meeting earlier this week. At that meeting, the Chairman said, a number of issues were up for discussion, including a petition signed by 150 clinical staffers requesting that the service of
the Matron be terminated.
The petition was premised on allegations by staffers that the Matron was not a team player, since she was not open for nurses to be exposed to specialised training in order to help improve the delivery of health services at the institution. There are reports, too, that the Matron has been limiting the number of nurses in certain departments because of her unwillingness to work with some doctors.
The Matron was not willing to comment on this state of affairs when contacted by this publication.
“When the petition came to us (the Board), we realised our limitation. The point is that when the petition came to us, the first question I asked was ‘Did you address it to the CEO?’ There is a step by step fashion…if you have a problem, first you go to the CEO, if the CEO can’t handle it and he asks for the Board’s help, he has to make recommendations to the Board,” Dr. Hanoman said.
Dr. Hanoman disclosed yesterday that the CEO at the recent Board meeting disclosed that he had written to the Matron on multiple occasions about her behaviour and she had not followed his instructions.
“If the CEO reports to the Board that you are not following instructions, the Board must think it wise that there is something wrong here…(but) let’s don’t be rash and send her on administrative leave, investigate the reasons for this and when you investigate the reasons for this then we can come to a solution. We cannot act abruptly, because remember we have to respect the Union and these types of things,” informed the Chairman.
But this is not the first time that the Matron has been accused of insubordination. In fact Johnson’s predecessor, Mr. Michael Khan, who is currently on administrative leave himself pending the outcome of a forensic audit of the hospital, had accused Hicks of “gross insubordination” and for this reason had terminated her service last year.
The Guyana Public Service Union had represented Hicks and had deemed the move “high-handed” and had even advised her to remain on the job. Her termination was eventually quashed, with no explanation being shared with the media and by extension the public. Khan was soon after sent on administrative leave.
When asked yesterday if the concerns shared by Johnson were similar to those of Khan’s, Dr. Hanoman quickly quipped “that is the question I don’t know. I understand that the previous CEO sent the Matron home last year…I was not here. Who brought her back if she was sent home? And why was she sent home? Those questions have not been answered to me. I would like to know (the answers to) those questions…”
And this might be due to the fact that the hospital has two CEOs (Johnson, the acting CEO, and Khan, on administration leave), the Chairman considered. He however is hopeful that his questions will all be answered by Junior Finance Minister, Mr. Jaipaul Sharma, who was tasked with conducting the forensic audit of the hospital.
However, Dr. Hanoman yesterday took note of the fact that it isn’t feasible for the hospital to continue to utilise finances to continually send persons on administrative leave.
Dr. Hanoman assumed the position of Chairman at the GPHC in March of this year and has vowed to engage measures to improve the institution.
Jan 19, 2021Kaieteur News – The Guyana Golf Association (GGA) in collaboration with the Nexgen Golf Academy has acquired land to establish the first of their planned five uniquely designed golf facilities...
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 18, 2021
Jan 18, 2021
Kaieteur News – The material on which to build one’s analyses of the year 2020 is literally mountainous. There is... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]