New Health Services Authority chief executive officer Craig Brown met staff Friday at a ceremony to thank all the employees for their health care efforts.
Minister for Health and Human Services Anthony Eden personally praised the more than 200 people gathered for the occasion as part of World Health Day celebrations.
Noting the theme for the day, Working Together for Health, he said that it was not just a slogan for the authority but also about how all its employees live.
‘Working together is part of the DNA that you share as the HSA family, and by your influence, you pass it along from generation to generation of HSA staff. Working together is the constant that keeps the HSA family unified, even while you adapt to change and challenges,’ Mr. Eden said.
The minister welcomed Mr. Brown and spoke of his diverse 25 years experience in health care.
‘His experience and qualifications will also be invaluable in building upon the great work that has already been accomplished, and in fulfilling our strategic initiatives to solidify the Health Services Authority as a medical centre of excellence in the region,’ he said.
In greeting the staff, Mr. Brown, who took up the post 3 April, spoke about the importance of people to the HSA.
‘Our product is health care but our strength is all of you,’ he said.
Mr. Brown added that he could be earning three times as much if he had joined the private sector, but he would rather bring home concerns about people than about goods.
‘Our concern is for quality of care. That’s what motivates me in the morning and I’m sure that’s what motivates you,’ Mr. Brown said.
Throughout the event, master of ceremonies Jackie Neil, who manages the medical records department, entertained the crowd with her witty remarks and handed out prizes to staff.
She and Mr. Brown exchanged good-natured banter and Ms Neil made several references to the hoped-for HSA pay rises.
As she awarded one prize, which consisted of an empty envelope still to be filled, she commented, ‘This is like the HSA, the salary increase not come yet.’ The audience responded with laughter.
Mr. Eden addressed the wage issue in his speech.
‘In my estimation, we lag almost 12 per cent behind in wages that civil servants are earning,’ he said.
Mr. Eden added that other funds are needed.
‘We’ve applied for $3.3 million in funds for new equipment which we desperately need,’ he said.
The funds are subject to Cabinet approval.
Peter Gough, deputy chairman of the board of the HSA, who spoke on behalf of the chairman, Pastor Al Ebanks, discussed the improvements being made by the board.
‘We are trying as a board to make changes to assist in running the organisation. We are committed to doing the right things to maintain the stability of the HSA,’ he said.
Mr. Gough added that the HSA is now producing regular financial reports and the board is committed to upgrading the service system. He explained that they will soon be appointing a chief financial officer and a human resources director.
‘We are making progress,’ he said.
Mr. Eden took time to single out the work of Shirline Henriques, who was acting CEO for the last year.
‘I commend Shirline Henriques, who took on the role of acting CEO one year ago to the day, during a difficult time for the HSA. She has ably led the organisation, and I am pleased that she will remain with the HSA as deputy to the new CEO,’ he said.