As the transition from the Victoria Hospital to the Owen King EU Hospital enters its final leg, keen focus is being placed on human resources and employment.
On November 26, Parliament passed an amendment to the Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act, that will protect the pensions of public officers who wish to be employed with the new entity. The Bill sought to amend the Act by deleting any reference to the “transfer” of a public officer to the Millennium Heights Medical Complex and to only make reference to the “secondment” of a public officer. The Bill seeks to make clear which entity has the power to second a public officer to the service of the Board of the Millennium Heights Medical Complex; namely the Public Service Commission, the Teaching Service Commission or the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet in his opening remarks stated: “In January 2018, the Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act No. 1 of 2015 (the Act), came into force and established the Millennium Heights Medical Complex which consists collectively of the Owen King European Union Hospital, the National Mental Wellness Centre and the Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre. There was also the creation of a board to oversee the operations, management and employment of staff.”
The original Act was passed by the former administration and the amendment sought to ensure the Bill was in keeping with the Pensions Act.
“We are here to protect the rights of workers in Saint Lucia by taking away the word “transfer.” It does not apply in this case. We must all ensure that they are seconded, and when they are seconded, they are under the responsibility of Millenium Heights and if anything happens, then they return to the Public Service,” Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet said, as he concluded his rebuttal in the House of Assembly.