Police officers deliver letter to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin retiring him “with immediate effect”
Photo 1 – Dr. Patrick Martin
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 26TH 2017 – Two members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force delivered a letter from the Team Unity Government of Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, to Chief Officer, Dr. Patrick Martin which informed him that he was retired “with immediate effect.”
Dr. Martin, who was recently honoured as “Father of the Year” by the Immaculate Conception Catholic Co-Cathedral, in a statement Tuesday said the letter was signed by Mrs. Torfrida Rochester, the Chief Personnel Officer in the Human Resource Management Department in the Office of Prime Minister Harris.
“Matters arising are being addressed by my attorneys,” said Dr. Martin in a statement sent to the media on Tuesday.
Dr. Martin noted that the post of Chief Medical Officer is a very senior post in the public service.
“As such, significant personnel changes warrant timely public disclosure. Therefore, noting the absence to date of an official statement, I reiterate that I am no longer the substantive holder of the post of Chief Medical Officer of the Federation effective Friday 14th July 2017,” said Dr. Martin.
He said he was honoured to take up the mantle of CMO in October 2004.
“This health leadership post is demanding especially in a country with very limited resources. All that was achieved was due entirely to the guidance and collaboration with colleagues in population health and clinical medicine at home and in the region,” said Dr. Martin.
He said it has been a pleasure and privilege to work within and across departments, sectors and borders to advance health policies, programmes and services. The intellectual battles, successes and friendships are treasured memories.
“Appreciation is extended to the successive governments, ministers of health and officials in national and regional health entities for the opportunities provided to serve my beloved country and region,” said Dr. Martin, who promised to continue to make himself available to the media and others on matters of health and development and related subjects.
Dr. Martin incurred the wrath of Prime Minister Harris’ Government when he was hastily sent on vacation and pre-retirement leave on June 16th 2016 when stopped 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.
Minister of Health Hon. Eugene Hamilton confirmed in an interview that a stem cell research project was underway at the JNF Hospital with Cabinet approval, but he was contradicted by Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Sen. the Hon. Wendy Phipps who in a radio address said “neither the Ministry of Health or the JNF General Hospital is engaged in any stem cell project.” A hospital document posted on FaceBook indicated 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.”
The stem cell operation involved Canadian billionaire Peter Nygard, the hard-partying retail tycoon. Dr. Martin defended his action to close down the illegal stem cell operation “because the Medical Act which is responsible for registering and licensing doctors to practice in the Federation was violated by a doctor coming from outside the Federation who was associated with the stem cell therapy entity that was operating at the JNF Private Ward. As Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the Medical Board which registers and licenses medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists et al, I was duty bound to ensure that the laws of the Federation were upheld, and that’s what I did.”
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