Board responds to Minister’s recommendations

The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) Board has now received a copy of the Report from the Multi-Sectoral Taskforce.

The Board is concerned that the recent communication issued from the Office of the Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, in relation to the Report was made without the Board having been given the right to sight a copy of the report or provide prior comments to the Minister.

The Chairman of the Board, Mr. David Guinn said that unfortunately the Report is fatally flawed and the Board disagrees with the recommendations, all of which were administrative in nature, due to the lack of supporting evidence, many being factually incorrect and the report demonstrating poor investigative practices.

This whole process has been badly handled and it is the Board’s view that the Minister has been poorly advised on this matter. The approach taken has lacked urgency, thoroughness and both procedural fairness and natural justice.

In any event, the Board is in the process of preparing a detailed response, which will be presented to the Minister shortly.

Mr. Guinn said that Board members and staff of the WHPHA have co-operated with both the Commission of Inquiry and the Multi-Sectoral Taskforce and it is disappointing how this investigation/review have been conducted.

Nevertheless, both these investigations have not found any evidence of corruption or mismanagement, which clearly demonstrates that the initial allegations were unfounded and have been a waste of time and resources.

“The latest communication undermines the good work that we as a Board have undertaken to raise the standard of health care in the Western Highlands Province. In 2014 Western Highlands was the most improved province when measured against the National Health Indicators and in 2015 it was ranked first.

“The Board is proud of its performance and that of its staff, and values its standing in the community. Having said this, Board members also freely acknowledge that there is always room for improvement, and will continue to ensure this takes place within the constraints of available resources”, Mr. Guinn said.

He said WHPHA Senior Management has always followed due process and the two independent inquiries have found no evidence that the Board or Management have been anything but diligent in the performance of their duties.

Meanwhile, Mr. Guinn noted that the Board met with staff on Monday and stated at that meeting that it was now time to move on, to put the past behind us and to focus on the future.

He went on to say that his Board would continue to provide sound governance to the WHPHA and steer it towards a brighter future through the major infrastructure and services redevelopment already approved by the Government.