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Health Ministry removes Director of Mental Health

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 March 2022, 23:02 by Denis Chabrol

Director of the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Util Thomas delivering a presentation on suicide at Parliament. (File picture) 

The Ministry of Health has removed the Director of Mental Health, Dr Util Richmond-Thomas, first terminating her services and then rescinding it and then assigning her as a Government Medical Officer, according to correspondence seen.

The termination of her contract as Director of Mental Health was originally dated January 27, 2022 and should have taken effect on 23rd March, 20222, but the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health on March 22, 2022 informed her that the termination has been withdrawn.

“Please be informed that after further deliberation on the matter, a decision has been taken to rescind your termination and for you to be redesignated Government Medical Officer with effect from 2022-03-23 inclusive,” the letter states.

She was also informed that she would be posted as the Doctor-in-Charge at the Enterprise Health Centre, East Coast Demerara. She was asked to report to Regional Health Officer for Region Four, Dr Gavinash Persaud for “further instruction and directives.”

Dr Richmond-Thomas is the second known top official of the Ministry of Health whose duties have been taken away; the first having been the Director of the Government Analyst- Food and Drugs Department, Dr Marlan Cole. He has been told to work closely with the Director of Standards and Technical Services to assist with capacity building especially with particular focus on quality control.

Dr. Richmond-Thomas had served as Director of Mental Health in St Lucia before returning home in 2017.