The Ministry of Health wishes to respond to the article entitled “Ministry of Health high command resigns en masse in protest”, which appeared in the 27 July 2008 edition of The Sunday Standard.
In particular, we wish to reassure the public that, contrary to the newspaper’s explicit suggestion to the contrary, there is no reason to believe that the Ministry’s capacity to serve the public will be undermined by the retirement and transfer of some of its officers.
We are rather confident that ongoing initiatives throughout the Ministry, from headquarters to the health workers on the ground, will, instead, result in improved service delivery. In this respect, we are acutely aware of the concerns that have been voiced by members of the public about the conditions existing in some of our public health facilities.
We are also skeptical about the newspaper’s further suggestion that the retirements and redeployments of several civil servants can be attributed to a single cause. We are certainly not aware of any collective “protest” as is alleged by the article.
With respect to the article’s charge that the Ministry has been “tight lipped” about the matter, we would note that your newspaper, in fact, only contacted our Public Relations Office at 16:35 hours on the Friday afternoon, before publication (when our officers were nonetheless still on duty to take your call).
As the public should also be aware, it would, at any rate, be improper for the Ministry to publicly speculate about the motives of individuals in seeking retirement or redeployment on promotion.
Finally, with his strong background in public service reforms, as well as previous service as the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary for Support Services, we are confident that the current Permanent Secretary, Mr. Newman Kahiya, will be in a position to drive the Ministry forward in its mission of providing the nation with comprehensive quality health services.
(Principal Public Relations Officer)