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“We cannot discourage whistle-blowers”- says Bulkan on transfer of nurse who exposed PNCR Councillor’s access to painkiller

Carol Joseph (second from left) standing next to President David Granger at the recently held Region Five Expo.

In the wake of the transfer of a nurse in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) following her public disclosure that a well-known pro-government official had been accessing a very strong painkiller, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan said people who disclose misdeeds should be encouraged.

“We cannot discourage whistle-blowers. We need to promote persons out there who are prepared, who have the courage to expose corruption wherever it may be taking place,” he told reporters on Friday at Congress Place, the headquarters of his People’s National Congress Reform.

After news broke that a nurse had written a letter complaining that Joseph had been receiving dosages of pethidine without prescription from a health institution in the region  with the blessings of a top Region Five official, the nurse was transferred.

Subsequently, Joseph resigned from the PNCR and the Region Five Council, ending many years of official association with that political party.

The transfer of the nurse, apparently under the guise that her services were needed at the other location, appears to contrast significantly with government’s desire to expose corruption and maladministration by protecting those who provide critical information.  Last year,  government began consultations on the Protected Disclosures (Whistleblower) Bill 2016 and the Witness Protection Bill.

The Minister of Communities  stressed the importance of change instead of continuity. “We cannot sweep things under the carpet. Should we do so, we are reminded by our leader that were we to adopt that approach in 2020 the carpet will be thick and we do not want that,” he said. General elections are constitutionally due in 2020.


Bulkan said he was unsure whether the nurse’s transfer was a direct result of her speaking out against the provision of pethidine to Joseph.

  • rudeo

    bullshit bulkan…the nurse was victimized by a pnc supporter….and you are trying to put salve on the wound….the entire episode stinks and the nurse is made to look like the enemy here…..encourage whistleblowers my arse….every day people complain about open corruption by the present crop of govt employees…who were chosen to replace those of the ppp….and these honest few are weeded out under one guise or another

  • Col123

    First, we need to inspect the needle and syringes used in the incident… then we need to hear all eight sides of the story, then we will pass it on to the minister of health and chancellor for disposition.