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(PRESS RELEASE) – As the transition from the Victoria Hospital into the Owen King European Union Hospital (OK-EU) enters its final leg, keen focus is being placed on human resource and employment.
On Tuesday 26th November 2019 Parliament passed an amendment to the “Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act” to secure and protect the pensions of public officers who wish to be employed with the new entity. The Bill sought to amend the Act by deleting any reference to the “transfer” of a public officer to the Millennium Heights Medical Complex and to only make reference to the “secondment” of a public officer.
The Bill seeks to make clear which entity has the power to second a public officer to the service of the Board of the Millennium Heights Medical Complex; namely the Public Service Commission, the Teaching Service Commission or the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet in his opening remarks stated: “In January 2018, the Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act No. 1 of
2015 (the Act), came into force and established the Millennium Heights
Medical Complex which consists collectively of the Owen King European
Union Hospital, the National Mental Wellness Centre and the Turning
Point Rehabilitation Centre. We also see the creation of a board which will oversee the operations, management and employment of staff.”
The original Act was passed by the former administration and the amendment sought to ensure the Bill was in keeping with the Pensions Act.
“We are here to protect the rights of workers in Saint Lucia by taking away the word “transfer”, it does not apply in this case. We must all ensure that they are seconded, and when they are seconded, they are under the responsibility of Millenium Heights and if anything happens, then they return to the public service,” Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet said as he concluded his rebuttal in the House of Assembly.
Minister with responsibility for External Affairs Honourable Sarah Flood Beauburn stood to support the bill by expressing the importance of job security and thanked health care workers for their contribution.
“I want to say thanks to the nurses, the assistants, all who work in the health system. They have had to work under very trying circumstances and they continue to do that,” said Minister Flood- Beaubrun. “We want to reassure them that the government of Saint Lucia is putting its best foot forward to ensure that when they move to the new facility, they do not have just the best environment and physical structure to work with, but they also have the best administrative structure; so they can enjoy practising and serving the vocation they have chosen.”
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