ERHA board terminates CEO
Monday, December 9 2013
THE BOARD of the Eastern Regional Health Authority (erha) yesterday resolved to terminate the CEO of the authority, Dr Ameena Ali, in an effort to avert a crisis which threatened to undermine its standard of patient care, board members said yesterday.
The decision came after three consecutive days of emergency board meetings at the ERHA offices at Eastern Main Road, Sangre Grande. The board also yesterday afternoon took legal advice from Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam over its course of action via teleconferencing.
The developments revolved around widespread complaints over the performance of the top official, against whom several complaints were made in relation to the official’s “inter-personal” skills.
About a dozen senior medial staff at the ERHA are understood to have last week submitted letters of resignation to the board over the conduct of the official in question. This included two doctors, nurses as well as pharmacists, the chairman of the board Dr Stephen Bhagan said yesterday.
ERHA board member, attorney Kiel Taklalsingh, yesterday said, “It came to the attention of the board on Thursday that most of the senior management team and clinical team were planning to resign because of poor inter-personal skills of the (top official). The board met on Friday, Saturday and today and came to this course of action.”
Taklalsingh said a mass resignation would have potentially affected the ERHA facilities adversely.
“It would have seriously affected the service of the hospitals and institutions under the ERHA and damaged patient care,” he said. The ERHA covers the Sangre Grande Hospital; the Mayaro District Health Facility; as well as 15 clinics ranging from the Biche Health Centre to the Valencia Health Centre.
Bhagan said the official was currently on probation and would be served a termination letter today. The members of the ERHA board include: Bhagan (chairman); Sandeep Maraj (vice- chairman); Prakash Williams; Asif Ali; and Beulah Duke. Yesterday’s meeting ended at 5pm. Efforts to contact Ali last night were unsuccessful.
Ali, a pharmacist, was last in the news in 2004 when she was transferred from another regional health authority, the NWRHA, to the NCRHA. In a ruling in 2004, a High Court judge determined that transfer to be unjust.