No decision on HSA chair

Health Minister Mark Scotland insists no decision has been made about who will replace Pastor Al Ebanks as the new Health Services Authority Chairman.

Mr. Scotland said at least two candidates are in the running to lead the hospital’s board after Mr. Ebanks last week announced he would be stepping down from the post in September.

‘Several candidates are under consideration, but there has been no decision made,’ Mr. Scotland said, forecasting an announcement on the role by the end of this week.

Mr. Scotland said financial management experience will be a key attribute for any incoming HSA board chairperson.

‘One of the key issues is financial viability and improved finances,’ he said. ‘We are looking for someone with strength in that area.’

He was speaking on the same day that the government confirmed the HSA’s operational deficit for the current fiscal year has increased from $6.4 million to $12 million.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood forecasted a $12 million deficit in an interview published in the Observer on Sunday 28 March.

Mr. Scotland would not say whether North Side independent MLA Ezzard Miller remains in contention for the job, after a public spat between Mr. Miller and Mr. Ebanks broke out last week over whether Mr. Miller should become the pastor’s successor.

A day after sweeping to power in the 20 May election, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush suggested Mr. Miller would be given responsibility for the HSA during a conference on cabinet appointments. But the new government have had little more to say on the topic since.

Mr. Ebanks has questioned whether Mr. Miller is eligible for the role due to a vague prohibition on ‘public officers’ sitting on the board, contained in the HSA Law.

He also questioned whether it is appropriate for Mr. Miller to be tasked with implementing the recommendations of his own consultant’s report on the HSA’s governance model.

Mr. Miller, a pharmacist and former Minister of Health, conducted a review of the HSA in 2007 at the request of then Health Minister Anthony Eden.