Dr Fuad Khan’s plan to outsource services at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex is a scare tactic, says former health minister Colm Imbert. In a telephone interview yesterday, Imbert said the advertisement for expressions of interest in managing 24 services at the EWMSC, Mt Hope, was intended to frighten protesting staff into going back to work. He said he believed the action was reckless.
Imbert, who was Health Minister from 2001 to 2003 under the People's National Movement (PNM), warned against Khan's approach, saying he learned the hard way and Khan should sit with the workers and resolve the matter. Khan said yesterday in a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian he hoped the unions would take up the public-private partnership and hire their members.
Speaking from Miami, USA, Khan said if the unions utilised their members, it would lead to a win/win situation. He said the partnership would increase efficiency and allow for better patient care. When asked about possible public-private partnerships for other regional health authorities (RHAs), Khan said it was a route he would consider once it produced greater efficiency for patients and ran more effectively.
On Wednesday Khan told the T&T Guardian protest action by staff had led the North Central Health Authority (NCRHA) to seek partnerships for services at the EWMSC. The National Workers' Union (NUGFW) in a faxed letter to the T&T Guardian, also rejected privatisation of health care. The union said if this is allowed to occur, the health system would operate on "profit maximisation."
The NUGFW said privatisation had long been the intent of the Government and the public was alerted by the union last year. The release said: "Privatisation places the provision of public goods into private hands; increases the gap in income between the haves and the scrunters; uses citizens' money to subsidise the wealthy and increases foreign domination of the economy."
Expressions of interest are being invited for
Adult Emergency Department
Ambulance and Transport Services
Biomedical Engineering Department
Blood Bank Services
Central Sterile Processing Department
Electronic Medical Records
Engineering, Operations and Maintenance Department
Housekeeping and Laundry Services
Non-Invasive laboratory services
Nuclear Medicine Services
Nutrition and Dietetics Department
Paediatrics Emergency Department
Patient Escorts Department