Shake up of HSA board

Top government health officials will be prevented from serving on the Health Services Authority’s board of directors to guard against possible intra-government conflicts of interests.

Under the move, the authority’s CEO, Medical Director and Medical Officer of Health, as well as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and a representative of the Financial Secretary will no longer sit on the board.

Those board positions will instead be filled by members of the community from fields including finance, human resources, law and information technology. The changes to the Health Services Authority law passed the Legislative Assembly in March.

The move puts into effect the recommendations of a consultant’s review of the HSA’s governance model by former Health Minister Ezzard Miller in 2007. His review concluded there needed to be a better distinction between the roles played by the Ministry, the board and the hospital’s management team.

‘The current composition of the board … further clouds the roles and confuses the lines of authority, accountability and responsibility, making decisions difficult,’ Mr. Miller’s review stated.

The revised Health Services Authority Law now states that employees of the authority and the ministry responsible for health cannot sit on the board.

The board’s size is also being reduced under the change, from 12 members to seven, after recent boards have struggled to get a full quorum of directors at meetings, frustrating key decisions.

The amendments also lay down a legal framework for the establishment of a charitable trust to collect donations for medical equipment and facility upgrades.

While the changes only passed the Legislative Assembly in March, board appointments in September 2008 reflected the changes to the board’s composition that health officials were planning.

Currently sitting on the authority’s board are Boatswain’s Beach Human Resources Manager Patricia Muschette; Walkers Attorney Krishan Welcome; accountant and Managing Director of Admiral Administration Canover Watson; IT professional David Shibli; and businessman Eddie Ebanks.

Pastor Al Ebanks continues as the board’s chairman.