Ministry of Health responds to Observer article re: Nurses at Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre


The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is aware of an article published in the Observer newspaper dated September 1, 2022 re: Nurses at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) and wish to set the record straight from the Ministry’s perspective.

The article falsely claims that “A Ministry of Health spokeswoman declined to comment”.

The Ministry wishes to make it known that the person Observer reached out to for a comment was the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Ena Dalso-Henry and at no time, did Mrs. Dalso-Henry decline to comment.

As a matter of fact, when the Observer reporter reached out to the Permanent Secretary, she indicated as P.S, she is not involved in any nursing decision at the hospital.  She further stated that the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre is managed by a Board of Directors and not by the Permanent Secretary; the reporter then indicated that she understood. Further, the Permanent Secretary indicated to the reporter that there is also a Nursing Director that may be able to assist her. (See photo attached)


As a result of the SLBMC being managed by a board, the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is not responsible for the decisions and policies set by the institution.  The Permanent Secretary therefore, does not have oversight for the SLBMC.


The Ministry however understands that a meeting is scheduled with the Board and Management of the SLBMC and the Association which represents the Nurses, the Antigua Barbuda Nurses Association.


We are therefore asking that a correction be made for the false information published in the said article.



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  1. Decline as defined by google refers to someone (in this case) not taking responsibility. Passing the buck is a synonym.
    MsPS you passed the buck

  2. This is a healthcare issue …you are the ministry of health
    You owe clareview workers and district nurses stipend for covid. You overlooked many deserving workers

  3. What are they smoking? This is the dumbest letter ever. Observer could have also reached out to nurses in addition to the PS. So the fact that the PS did not speak to Observer means what? The Observer article addresses the nurses concerns. Is there a comprehension problem here. But then there are some very stupid PS.

  4. The MOH is trying to deflect. Sorry, will not work. Observer is not POINTE FM or ABS.
    MOH, please address the plight of the hospital staff.

  5. You know I would have told the reporter that the letter by the nurses is very concerning. At the very least it shows some degree of humanity.
    But not only is this screenshoot depicting a dismissive modus operandi, by relaying its contents, the ministry is just adding insult to injury.because they wantonly blanked the forest for the trees
    Take home message: they dont care, they cant be bothered, suck it up and move on

  6. How hard would it have been to say “That issue does not fall under my jurisdiction as PS however I am aware of the issue and have been in communication with the appropriate persons (director of nursing, hospital board etc.)”

    This response just feels like an attempt to deflect blame. Like they’re more concerned that people might think they declined to comment than the actual issue at hand

  7. @Sad, it would have been very hard. What you need to understand a lot of permanent Secretary personnel want to get the salary but don’t want to take responsibility. When things are going good, it’s thanks to them, when things go bad they all of a sudden blame the cabinet or feign ignorance of technical matters. We need a nice blend of admin and technical in our ministries to lead us out of this “head in the sand” BS.

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