By Kurt Campbell
When the Government did not appoint Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Karen Gordon-Boyle to the substantive position a week ago, it received flak for appointing Dr Narine Singh, her junior, to the post of Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
Many believe that Dr Gordon-Boyle was overlooked for the position with Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon also criticising the Government on Friday for allowing Dr Singh to supersede the Deputy.
Harmon was the latest to add his voice to contentions that the Government was sidelining qualified and professional afro-Guyanese in the interest of appointing party supporters.
But outgoing CMO Dr Shamdeo Persaud, who is currently on pre-retirement, leave believes the appointment of Dr Singh was fair. Dr Persaud explained that the CMO is a public servant appointed by the Public Service Commission.
Dr Persaud believes that Dr Gordon-Boyle did not qualify for the promotion on two grounds. He explained that there is an age definition for entry into the position which is up to 55 years old – an age that Dr Gordon-Boyle has exceeded.
Dr Persaud, in an extensive interview with the News Room on his 30 years commitment to public service of which he spent 13 as the CMO, explained that Dr Gordon- Boyle was on a contract having left the public service and later returning.
“So, the appointment comes through, the next most senior public servant appointeE is Dr Singh.”
But when these facts were put to Harmon on Friday, he insisted that there should have been consultation by the Government with Dr Gordon-Boyle.
“At least if you are going to out someone over her, the least, I expect is that you would consult,” Harmon said.
But Dr Persaud said he does not believe the appointment of Dr Narine was political and said Dr Gordon-Boyle should address the inaccuracies being peddled in the media.
“This is not about politics. I don’t think that is the case, it’s the structure of the public service… and I think she understands that and should respond to the allegations that might not be accurate,” the outgoing CMO said.
Dr Persaud also vouched for the competence and qualification of Dr Narine, pointing out that he is a graduate of the University of Guyana Medical School.
“I have seen inaccurate posting on his qualifications. He is a graduate of the University of Guyana Medical School and has distinguished himself through service.”
Dr Narine served as the Medical Superintendent at Suddie Hospital, Director of the Blood Bank, and Director of Regional Health Services and was the driving force behind several public health initiatives.