PLP Chairman Douglas Wattley accuses PM Harris’ government of humiliating and discrediting the CMO Dr. Patrick Martin

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Douglas Wattley, chairman of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) – a coalition partner in Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris’ PLP/CCM/PAM administration, has accused the government of humiliating and discrediting the name of the Federation’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Patrick Martin.
“I deplore the apparent efforts of the Government to stain the reputation of a tenured public servant who has served his Country with marked distinction over many years,” said Mr. Wattley in a statement on his FaceBook page.
Mr. Wattley, a former senior health official and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in the Denzil Douglas St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Administration has publicly pledged his support to the Federation’s veteran CMO.
“He is a good, decent and moral citizen. He has been a highly productive Public Servant and the Country is better because for his service. So I am appalled at the attempts by the Government to discredit, humiliate and diminish the man – Dr. Patrick Martin,” said Mr. Wattley.
Pointing out that his stand is singular and personal, Mr. Wattley hopes “that other fair-minded citizens will stand behind this good man and publicly support him. The Government’s intent and action are wrong-headed.”
Dr. Martin was hastily sent on vacation and pre-retirement leave on June 16th when he found out about an illegal Stem Cell Research Project operating at the Private Ward of the J. N. France General Hospital on June 13th 2016, without his approval and had taken measures to bring it to an end.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Andrew Skerritt, who delivered the letter to Dr. Martin was himself transferred on June 17th, but Minister of Health Hamilton could not say which Ministry Skerritt was transferred to. Martin and Skerritt have not been accused on any wrongdoing.
It has been disclosed by well informed sources that the Chief Medical Officer post in vacant in violation of the laws of St. Christopher and Nevis as two persons offered the post have refused.
Minister of Health Hon. Eugene Hamilton has confirmed in an interview that a stem cell research project was underway at the JNF Hospital and that Cabinet had approved it.
But Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Hon. Wendy Phipps late Thursday night, told the nation in a broadcast the “as Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, I wish to state categorically that neither the Ministry of Health nor the JNF General Hospital is engaged in any stem cell project.”
Hours after Phipps’ statement a hospital document was posted on FaceBook indicating that at a June 8th meeting of Staff Nurses and co-chaired by Matron Sonia Daley-Findlay, Director of Institutional Nursing Services, and Shirley Ferlance, Assistant Director of Institutional Nursing Services, it was discussed that “three rooms from the private ward will be used to facilitate the Regenerative Stem Cell Research which should begin Monday 13th June 2016.”
Leader of the Opposition, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and other opposition parliamentarians have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Harris, Health Minister Hamilton and Junior Minister Phipps.
Former Economist at the United Nations in New York, Kittitian Mrs. Willa Liburd has expressed alarm that persons who uphold the law in the stem cell research scandal in St Kitts “are seemingly moved out of the way for their insistence on the proper procedures.”
Mrs. Liburd’s call two weeks ago on civil society such as the St. Kitts and Nevis Medical Board, the St. Kitts and Nevis Medical Association, the St Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association, the St. Kitts Christian Council, the St. Kitts and Nevis Hotel Association, the St. Kitts Evangelical Association, the St. Kitts Business Forum and the St. Kitts Teachers Union to remove their muzzle and comment on the stem cell matter has been ignored.

You might also like