The Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association(TTRNA) commends the Nursing Council Of Trinidad and Tobago on recent actions. We are of the view that the actions were decisive as it addressed numerous irregularities which plagued the council in its last attempt at holding elections. Consequently, the cancellation of the election process and the appointment of the interim President Mr. Chris Craigwell is a move that is applauded by the TTRNA. The association holds the view that the immediate resumption of a revamped electoral process will bode well for the entire Nursing and Midwifery community.
The Council’s denial of thousands of persons to vote for a candidate of their choice,was undemocratic to say the least. Such unlawfulness would never withstand the scrutiny of the Courts of Trinidad and Tobago.
TTRNA is advised that the steps that the Nursing Council has taken, is in accordance with recommendations made by the independent election commission. Sound legal advice was also sought from their Attorneys. The association therefore, takes no issue with the path the Nursing Council has embarked upon as it seeks to return integrity to the Nursing Council and its’ electoral process.
It is unfortunate though that not everyone shares this view. In this regard TTRNA strongly condems the reckless statements credited to Dr. Fuad Khan in the widely circulated Newsday papers of September 1st 2019. It is TTRNA’s opinion that these comments are uninformed and have brought disrepute to the Nursing Council. The Council conducts its business locally, regionally and internationally on behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The statements made by a supposedly respectable public figure such as Mr Khan has done irreparable damage to the collective image of Nursing and Midwifery.
Interestingly though, these comments were made by a doctor who has a long history of attempting to lower the standards of the nursing profession. In fact During his tenure as Minister of Health Mr Khan was at loggerheads with the Association as we had objected to a number of his initiatives. These included
• 1 CXC and a passion Nurses,
• the elimination of the regional nursing Licensure exam and automatic registration of nurses with degrees or diplomas,
• ill-conceived Nurse Intern position.
The Association recommends that the Nursing Council of Trinidad and Tobago, seek legal advice regarding what can only be seen as defamation of character.
Furthermore, Dr Khan has well demonstrated his appropriateness or lack thereof, to hold senior government positions. This is evidenced by his questionable public comments on obesity, women and his continued offensive portrayals of people who belong to the Rastafarian faith with his Ras G Facebook posts.
While the comments about the Nursing Council and its affairs were unsolicited, the TTRNA does have some questions for Mr Khan. For instance we would like to know if he finds it appropriate that a Minister of Health, should be allowed to continue with their private practice as a surgeon, while sitting on a private hospital board, and holding shares in a private hospital. Moreover we ask if the former health Minister finds it appropriate to approve public-private partnerships with hospital service providers in which the Minister will benefit indirectly from. These activities were all undertaken while being in charge of the Ministry of Health, the regulator of both the public and private health sector.
If the former Minister of Health, Dr. Khan can answer those ethical and legal questions, he will be better placed to question another organisation on the actions they have taken. Not to mention the fact which they have been legally advised so to do.
TTRNA understands the Nursing Council will be holding a press conference on or before Friday 6th September 2019 to update members of the Nursing and Midwifery Community on these important developments within the profession. The shocking and unwarranted attacks purportedly emanating from Dr. Khan will also be addressed.