It was a no-show on Monday as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Javan Willliams failed to show up for work at the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA).
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that staff members were informed last week that Williams who is from the sister isle of Carriacou will be taking up duties at the agency’s office on Richmond Hill.
“The office was prepared for the man but he did not show up. I don’t know why”, said a source.
Another official claimed that Williams did not take up duties since he did not have a letter of transfer from the Public Service Commission to move from the Ministry of Health to NaDMA.
He spoke of a “verbal communication” in which the head of the Department of Public Administration (DPA), Beryl Isaac allegedly telephoned him to inform of the transfer.
He said that Williams who is “very knowledgeable” of the rules governing civil servants advised Isaac that she better make sure that the “correct procedures” are followed in effecting the transfer.
According to the source, the PSC met on Monday and approved Williams’ transfer and he should have received a letter to this effect on Tuesday.
Williams is to become the Permanent Secretary with Special Responsibility for NaDMA which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister.
The source said that he cannot be appointed to the post of Co-ordinator of the agency since the position is below that of the status of a Permanent Secretary.
Government sources told this newspaper that Williams “will have very little to do since there is not much persons working with NaDMA”.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Williams has fallen from grace with the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
He is one of two Permanent Secretaries assigned to the Ministry of Health with the other being Lana Mc Phail.
PM Mitchell is allegedly upset with Williams and other senior officials in the Ministry of Health over the composition of a delegation that was picked to travel to Washington for a meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Sources told this newspaper that PM Mitchell felt that the members of the delegation should remain at home to help “fix” the myriad of problems plaguing the island’s Ministry of Health especially the functioning of the hospitals instead of thinking of embarking on overseas trips.
Mitchell’s New National Party (NNP) administration has been under attack from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on conditions at the two main hospitals on the island – the General Hospital in St. George’s and Princess Alice in Mirabeau, St. Andrew’s.
Congress has been highlighting the poor working conditions of Junior doctors and nurses and shortages of some basic medical supplies.
In a recent statement issued, NDC made the following demands of the Mitchell-led administration in the area of Health:-
(1). Adjust its spending priorities so as to make better provisioning for the health of the Grenadian people.;
(2). Increase the number of doctors at the country’s hospitals;
(3). Reduce the number of working hours of the junior doctors to acceptable standards so as to reduce the risk of medical error;
(4). Increase the number of nurses serving the wards to internationally accepted standards;
(5). Provide the health care workers with the basic medical supplies and medicines required to perform their duties;
(6). Repair or replace the non-functioning machines required to administer treatment and perform surgical operations at the hospitals;
(7). Put an immediate end to the attrition policy whereby government will replace only 3 nurses for every 10 nurses that retire or leave the service.