Post 2015 cleansing leads to poor morale, understaffing at JNF. hospitals, medical institutions and interference by politicians

Basseterre, St Kitts, August 21, 2019 – The federation’s former Chief Medical Officer Dr Patrick Martin has confirmed that reports of under-staffing, overwork, and poor morale at the J N France General Hospital, the country’s main hospital and other parts of the health system, are accurate.
Dr Martin is also agreeing with suggestions that the politicians are through their decisions, interfering in the work of professionals in the health sector to the detriment of the sector.
“If there is a problem with a system of people you look to the system administrator first. We are really swimming against the tide to staff our hospitals to deal with the onslaught of renal failure and cancer and so some major policy decisions have to take place in terms of work force recruitment and retention if we are to get ahead of the game,” Dr Martin is quoted by WINNFM.
“And so the major reasons why we are swimming against the tide is because the Ministry of Health was cleansed of a lot of its thinkers, persons with institutional memory, persons with skills in policy planning and performance assessment. Unfortunately it was literally cleansed post 2015 and so …going forward to 2030 we have to do some re-staffing now both at the Ministry of Health level and also the front lines of care, community health and also the hospital.”
Asked to rate the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system, the former Chief Medical Officer pointed to a number of past surveys.
“Generally speaking, I will give a B+ primarily because of the yeoman service being done by persons on the front lines. In fact, the general public of St Kitts and Nevis scored our community health centres 80 percent satisfaction in surveys done in 2006, 2012, 2014 and that to me has always been the benchmark. And I did challenge my colleagues at the hospital to get their act together to see of the hospitals can score 80 percent.”
Dr Martin’s comments were made on the WINN FM program Inside the News on August 17.
Patrick Martin was the Federation’s Chief Medical Officer until he was given his marching orders from the post at the height of the stem cell controversy.
In June 2016 Dr Martin decided to pull the plug on a stem cell regenerative medicine programme at the JN France General Hospital which he said breached the Medical Act legislation.
The Team Unity government said at the time that he had passed the age of retirement, and he was sent on pre-retirement leave.

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