Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland is now the Executive Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) board.
Minister of Health and Wellness Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic made the announcement in Parliament this afternoon, as he led the debate on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Amendment), Bill 2019.
The Minister said the move was made to create the executive chairman position, along with two other posts, in an effort to strengthen the management system to fix critical issues at the island’s tertiary health care facility.
“The decision has been taken to create the post of executive chairman, and this is nothing new here in Barbados, although it was done at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and there was no attempt to amend the Act back then.
“But we are doing it the right way. If we had gone another route Mr Deputy Speaker, it would have taken time to recruit another person. And we are at a juncture where we do not have the luxury of time,” he said.
At the end of August, Government announced that a mutual agreement had been reached for the separation of former CEO Dr Dexter James from his role at the 600-bed institution. Dr James had been on extended sick leave since February. Director of Support Services Louise Bobb has been acting in that senior position since that announcement.
The Minister told the House of Assembly that the executive chairman would deal primarily with legal matters, strategy and partnerships, policy implementation, communication, and general security and philanthropy among other duties.
“The executive chairman will report, not to the Ministry of Health, but directly to the Minister of Health so that we cut out some of the bureaucracy so that they can get on with the running of the hospital.
“We have decided to create a position called chief operations officer and the holder of that post will be responsible first of all to the executive chairman for the overall management of the hospital. In other words the other executive directors report to the chief operations officer and then on to the chairman,” he explained.
Bostic said the decision was also made to create the position of executive director of Clinical and Diagnostic Services to share responsibilities with the Director of Medical Services.
“And the holder of that post will be responsible for all labs, the pharmacy, radiology, infection control, outpatients, orderlies, case management, social work and rehabilitation services. The other part of the portfolio will remain with the Director of Medical Services,” he said.
Bostic said that while there were some who questioned the appointment of the former director of the Barbados Family Planning as executive chairman of the QEH’s board, Bynoe-Sutherland is highly qualified for the post.
He said he recommended to Cabinet that Bynoe-Sutherland be chosen to serve as chairman not because of any affiliations of any kind, but due to her experience and expertise.
“We have a chairman of the board that is a qualified attorney-at -law. A person with a Masters of Science with distinction in health planning, health policy and health finance from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, along with the London School of Economics.
“A person with over 20 years’ experience in direct programme management in health systems and health services. A person who spent five years in the Ministry of Health and Wellness as a health planner,” he said.