THE Medical Chief of Staff attached to the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) has been fired with immediate effect.
In a news release last weekend, the board of directors of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) stated that the services of Dr Rufaro Celestine, Medical Chief of Staff of Scarborough General Hospital (SGH), have been terminated effective immediately. “Clinical oversight of the Scarborough General Hospital will be undertaken by Dr Victor Wheeler, head of department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology,” the TRHA board added.
When asked to comment on the matter, TRHA chairman Ingrid Melville said the board was not satisfied with Celestine’s performance.
“Dr Celestine was on six months’ probation, at the end of her probation the board extended it, following which the board of the TRHA discussed with Dr Celestine that they were not happy with her performance as it was not at the standard which was expected,” said Melville.
“The e-mail that was leaked highlighting concerns at the hospital, there is more to it. However, priority is health care, to have the best health care possible to the people of Tobago,” she added.
Melville said Celestine was asked to prepare a written response as to the leaked e-mail and this was to be sent to the chief executive officer of the TRHA.
“Instead, Dr Celestine sent a legal letter via her attorney to the chairman of the board of the TRHA, instead of the CEO. The matter was brought to the board and a decision taken to fire Dr Celestine,” Melville said.
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington said the decision to terminate Celestine was taken on Friday, following a meeting of the TRHA board.
Celestine assumed duty at Scarborough General Hospital on January 2, 2019.
She has been a fully-registered member of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago since 1989 and is a member of its Specialist Register in Public Health Medicine.
Celestine was born in Zimbabwe but spent her formative years in the United States, United Kingdom and Swaziland and became a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago in 2012.
Two weeks ago, an internal e-mail was leaked to the media, in which Celestine indicated a number of health concerns.
Celestine’s firing comes on the heels of a press conference with THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles last week, stating that a task force will be formed by the THA to treat with Tobago’s health concerns.