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….Reg. 10 leaders demand CEO removal from Linden Hospital Complex
…claim he is bad for the ‘health’ of the region because of ‘toxic’ culture
By Svetlana Marshall
The recent attempt by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), Rudolph Small, to fire 27 auxiliary staff has reignited calls by the regional leaders for him to be removed over claims of mismanagement, lack of respect for staff, vindictiveness and the general creation of a toxic working environment at the medical institution.
Region 10’s Member of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira told the Village Voice Newspaper that Small’s presence at the Linden Hospital Complex has presented some “very big and troubling concerns” for health care services in the mining town due to his management style.
“…substantiated evidence…in our possession reaffirms that he is very disrespectful and vindictive to our health care workers and the auxiliary staff at the hospital,” the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) MP told the Village Voice Newspaper.
He contended that due to Small’s management style, the hospital has seen an exodus of nurses and doctors resulting in a shortage of nurses and specialist doctors. The remaining doctors and nurses, he said, are now overworked.
The situation, MP Figueira said, is further compounded by the lack of critical medical and pharmaceutical resources.
“There is a constant complain by health workers for sufficient drugs, PPE gears, better and improved equipment for improved health care delivery in the township but to no avail,” he explained.
MP Figueira added: “The CEO has made the working environment toxic to the staff which radiates to the patients.”
The Regional Parliamentarian submitted that the hospital, and the town by extension, need a CEO, who is interested in improved health care delivery, and who will take proactive steps to improve relations among staff and the public with a focus to improve the hospital in every regard.
“We do not need a cowboy CEO who walks around the facility with a visible gun on this waist. This man must go in order for health services to be enhance. If this administration is serious about people, their welfare and about improving health care delivery for citizens, then they would act. We demand that the do so by removing this man from our premier health care facility in this region,” MP Figueira told this publication.
Region 10 Regional Chairman, Deron Adams also called for Small to be immediately removed from the Linden Hospital Complex.
“He should be fired! Under his leadership both the Kwakwani and Linden Hospitals would have deteriorated; we are losing our nurses by the month as many have opted to leave for green pasture. He has destroyed that institution and over 90 percent of the staff do not have confidence in him. The Regional Chairman and Councillors don’t want him,” Adams told this publication.
He added: “The people of Region 10 do not want him.”
Adams told the Village Voice Newspaper that contrary to a ‘promise’ by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration to create jobs in Region 10, Small is hell-bent on placing Lindeners on the breadline.
Like the Regional MP, the Regional Chairman contended that Small has created a toxic working environment at the Linden Hospital Complex.
“You may recall he locked out frontline workers; terminated the contracts of long-standing clients and has replaced them [the contracts] with his close friends and associates,” Adams said while adding that vehicles attached to the health institution are being sent to Georgetown for repairs, when the repairs could be easily done in Linden at an affordable cost.
He reminded that during the height of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, salaries of nurses were slashed because they objected to his disrespectful behaviour.
Due to the unfavorable situation at the Linden Hospital Complex, the Regional Chairman is calling on the Irfaan Ali Administration to immediately establish the hospital’s board to allow for better oversight. He said in the absence of such a board, Small has been making unilateral decisions that are not in the best interest of the healthcare workers.
Adams said the decision by Small not to renew the contracts of 27 staff just days ago, which has since been rescinded, is an excellent example. Ex-hospital employees have reportedly informed the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) that since their resignation from the hospital for various reasons, their positions have not been advertised nor the vacancies filled.
“Positions in the stores department, for drivers, kitchen staff, maintenance personnel such as plumbers and office staff are all vacant, with Rudy Small refusing to fill these vacancies and keeping Lindeners from the opportunity for employment in these areas,” Adams said.
He added: “It seems that Small’s mandate is to ensure that the health sector is starved of resources, for whatever reason this might be.”
The Regional Chairman is, therefore, challenging the CEO to prove that all of the positions on the staffing chart for the Linden Hospital Complex are filled. He is also calling on the Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Gregory Harris to advise his colleague in the Health Sector to ensure that all of the resources, both human and material, are effectively utilized to provide the best possible health care in Region 10 and not to hold onto vacancies until they are filled by “political sycophants.”
On April 20, 2022, Small informed approximately 27 auxillary staff of the Linden Hospital Complex that their contacts would not be renewed but faced with fierce objection by the regional leaders, the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony instructed that the decision be rescinded.
“…the administration of the Linden hospital would have sent letters to about 27 persons who are working with the institution, telling them that they would no longer renew their contracts…When the Ministry learnt about it, we reached out to the CEO and asked him to rescind the letters,” Minister Anthony said during his COVID-19 update on Friday.
He added: “We expect that the contracts for all those persons will be renewed and would be renewed for the usual duration.” The Health Minister said like any other person employed by the Government, public servants’ performance will be evaluated and once found to be satisfactory, they will continue to work.
In March, 2021, nurses and doctors at the Linden Hospital Complex together with their leaders called on the Health Ministry to remove Small over derogatory remarks aimed at the staff, however, one day after he was given marching orders, he was reinstated.