Categorized | Features, General, Opinions, Politics

Minister Ryan records her Ministry’s achievement over the year

Minister sporting one of her own designs at the Governor’s Christmas Open House

At the final scheduled sitting of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly on Tuesday this week Ministers delivered ministerial statements to the house.

Minister with responsibility for Education, health and social services, the Hon. Delmaude Ryan began her report, “I have been assigned the honour to lead on the policies and development for two major ministries and the responsibilities and I am grateful for the experiences thus far, I must give God all the honour and Glory for what has been achieved thus far.

The Minister has promised to publish her statement by way of creating a record for easy reflection for the public. But meanwhile we present some highlights of that Statement which she was quick to point out was still incomplete, “there was so much more I have to say,” she confided.

Nonetheless, she said “On this the closing out of the 2016 calendar year, I thought it fitting to bring good tidings on the progress over the year, which are of interest to our people.”

She had begun the report, “Madam Speaker, we all know that the wealth of a nation is the health of its People.  And all material things are of no interest when a man’s health is at stake.”

By further introduction she declared, “healthcare services, social protection and education are critical to the wholesome development of Montserrat, and under my stewardship, I do not take this task lightly…. There are a lot of good stories to tell Madam Speaker, and what better time, than now, when we bring in the Christmas cheer.”

Beginning with the health and social sector, she got into the big story on many lips, critics and otherwise. “I am pleased to highlight that this Government continues to move ahead with the development of a new hospital,” outlining that Hilltop has been declared as the preferred site after the site analysis report.

Continuing she reported, “…detailed Environmental Assessment will now be undertaken over the next four months, to ascertain the environmental validity of the land for the preferred site at Hilltop. At the same, the health sector reviews will commence. The Company Mott McDonald has been successful in the bid for undertaking the works for the health sector functional review and the health financing review. Mobilization of the team will take place during January with work commencing February 2017.”

 She added that the three exercises are critical to the development of the Business case for the New built hospital. These will determine the cost for building – operating and the size.

Shifting she continued: “…while work towards the new hospital is in train,” she then highlighted, “other works that have materialized this year for ensuring that an acceptable standard of healthcare services is in place and especially bearing in mind the health and safety of the workers, patients and residents who utilise the existing health facilities.”

She referenced the more appealing environs at both the St Johns and St Peter’s health Centers,” pointing out, “it was important for the staff to be included in the decision making and the aesthetics were based on their input…” commending the effort of the nurses who she said had put in much thought…

Not only the environment but “the Services of the Clinics have been enhanced through the upgrade of Clinic Maids to Health Aids having completed a six month intense training – to upskill the staff to better support the clinics and the clients in their environment.” 

The services for diabetics have now been improved with the appropriate equipment at the health centers for eye checks and at the lab for regular blood and other screenings. “I am encouraging all those who require these services to use them.”

The current infrastructure for hospital services has been mostly upgraded – All of the hospital wards are now fully resourced with new hospital beds among other furnishings, easing the strain of those having to assist with movement or lifting of patients and for better comfort of the patients. The windows and doors are now replaced, walkways between the casualty area and wards repaved for safety and better transport of patients – and other facilities and roof being recovered.

The Minister said they had already spent 93% of the equipment budget, ”…procuring various pieces of essential equipment which are at various points of delivery and implementation.” She noted, “there is still more equipment needed to be replaced.”

She mentioned one of the major challenge in delivering healthcare services was procuring equipment for the visiting specialist programme, for endoscopy and colonoscopy interventions. But overcoming some challenges she cited, “plans are in place to provide support to the men that require special injections to treat prostate conditions,” noting that there are to be amendments to the Public Health Act to allow for this support, and ”thanks to Hon Dr Ingrid Buffonge for her role in this intervention.”

The world Pediatric project has now been formally extended to Montserrat. She said in November, Key representatives were on island to put in place the mechanisms for Montserrat to access free medical care for critically ill children. “Health care is provided at no cost to parent,” she noted while adding that the programme also provides opportunities for our doctors to be exposed to a number of medical interventions as it relates to children. 

A draft of the “elderly care policy policy has gone through further consultation during the year. Interventions to manage the sewage issues at Margetson Memorial, Lookout Warden and New Windward are at various stages of work, while, improvement works at the Lookout Cemetery has also being progressed with the paving of the road and roundabout, works will continue in the New Year to widen the roundabout and put in place other amenities for the public when visiting the cemetery

Apparently joking about ‘flying high’ connecting to a calypso which involves her, she said, “my overseas missions have also bore much fruits. When I fly Madame Speaker, I fly high and I don’t come back empty handed.” She referred to a five year agreement with the Pan American Organization /World Health Organization, for a technical corporation plan; as it allows for other streams of funding to assist with the Implementation of various aspects of our strategic plan in improving health care on Montserrat. She mentioned also – access to support of Health Education in England to provide opportunities ‘for our health staff to have stints abroad to continue to keep

their skills fresh.”

Still ‘flying high’, she referred to her signing of “a Memorandum of Understanding for child safeguarding with Falkland Islands, UK and other Overseas Territories that provides a number of opportunities for the social sector in our response to safeguarding the children of Montserrat this will include training for our Social Services staff.”

She also gained commitment from the UK “to assist with strengthening public health systems to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies and achieve International Health Regulations (IHR) compliance – backed under a fully funded programme that is available to Montserrat until 2020.”

She adds that through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Social Services department will continue to benefit from additional technical and training over the next four years from CASCAF, who made their first visit to the island in early November, “to assess our needs.”

The Social Protection Bill which will replace the Social Welfare Act has also been developed this year with the help of UNICEF, while “most importantly the passage of the Childcare and Adoption Bill in October this year. Montserrat has also requested that the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women be extended to Montserrat.

“To top it all off,” she spoke of the filling of key vacant posts of, “we Say welcome to Dr Lowell Lewis our very own, Chief Medical Officer.” A Health Promotion Officer, and Clinical Psychologist, eleven positions in Social Services which includes the resourcing of the Child Protection Unit. She was, pleased to say that the Acting Director Social Services “is one of our very own Montserratian from the Diaspora, Ms Phyllis Dyer, who has contributed well over 30 years in the Social Service Sector in the United Kingdom.”

“This is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s in store for the Ministry of Health and Social Services.”

She says, “the Education Sector has been flying high.”

Significant to this is having trained teachers in place at the Montserrat Secondary School in addressing the teaching gaps and overcoming the years of difficulty to recruit teachers.

All primary schools are being prepared for installation of interactive white boards. Teachers have received their first round of training so far, Madame speakers, “this government’s intention is to make formal education interesting, engaging and inspiring.”

For the last two years “we have exceeded our target of passes on five subject or more we have maintained a 42% achievement in both years.”

There is own an Education Planner, who will better guide the sector in its planning.

She addressed several programme: reading programme and book parade, math bee and

Science and math fair. MSS had its first Christmas concert after a long break; the Ministry has had the commitment of funding for the long awaited National Curriculum Development, for which the Caribbean Examination Council has expressed their willingness to undertake this tasks.

An entire month was dedicated to the youth and launched the youth and sports development programme. Various aspects of this programme are on the way, this will introduce a number of key developments in this sector.

She counted as good progress: Excellent passes at the Montserrat community college in 12 of 23 subject areas with 100% results. Montserrat also ranked in the first 10 in digital media. The reintroduction of building and construction programme yielded nine graduates with six persons completing stage one of the newly introduced cosmetology programme. 

The signing of an Agreement with the OECS for Montserrat to be the Administrative hub for the Eastern Caribbean Institute. “…this provides opportunities for jobs for locals as well as a number of benefits to the economy on a whole.”

In the Sporting Arena, work continues on Salem park improvements, also the Montserrat Football Association with the installation of two minis football – and ensured Montserrat’s presence on the regional scene in basketball, volleyball and cricket to some extent. 

Madam Speaker, our relations with UNESCO is bearing fruits, we have had our first meeting in June, since Montserrat became the 100th associate member in November 2015, where I had the opportunity to share and shape the lifelong learning work plan for the Caribbean.

Madam Speaker that plan allows for opportunities to develop lifelong learning in all sectors over a five year period, whether it being in a formal setting such as the Montserrat Community College, on the job or in the community, Montserrat stands to benefit from a number of these interventions.

She ended with the call from the Hon Premier, “Now is the Season: called to lead, prepared to serve and moved to change. Now is indeed the season.” As she extended Christmas and New Year greetings to all.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Minister sporting one of her own designs at the Governor’s Christmas Open House

At the final scheduled sitting of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly on Tuesday this week Ministers delivered ministerial statements to the house.

Minister with responsibility for Education, health and social services, the Hon. Delmaude Ryan began her report, “I have been assigned the honour to lead on the policies and development for two major ministries and the responsibilities and I am grateful for the experiences thus far, I must give God all the honour and Glory for what has been achieved thus far.

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The Minister has promised to publish her statement by way of creating a record for easy reflection for the public. But meanwhile we present some highlights of that Statement which she was quick to point out was still incomplete, “there was so much more I have to say,” she confided.

Nonetheless, she said “On this the closing out of the 2016 calendar year, I thought it fitting to bring good tidings on the progress over the year, which are of interest to our people.”

She had begun the report, “Madam Speaker, we all know that the wealth of a nation is the health of its People.  And all material things are of no interest when a man’s health is at stake.”

By further introduction she declared, “healthcare services, social protection and education are critical to the wholesome development of Montserrat, and under my stewardship, I do not take this task lightly…. There are a lot of good stories to tell Madam Speaker, and what better time, than now, when we bring in the Christmas cheer.”

Beginning with the health and social sector, she got into the big story on many lips, critics and otherwise. “I am pleased to highlight that this Government continues to move ahead with the development of a new hospital,” outlining that Hilltop has been declared as the preferred site after the site analysis report.

Continuing she reported, “…detailed Environmental Assessment will now be undertaken over the next four months, to ascertain the environmental validity of the land for the preferred site at Hilltop. At the same, the health sector reviews will commence. The Company Mott McDonald has been successful in the bid for undertaking the works for the health sector functional review and the health financing review. Mobilization of the team will take place during January with work commencing February 2017.”

 She added that the three exercises are critical to the development of the Business case for the New built hospital. These will determine the cost for building – operating and the size.

Shifting she continued: “…while work towards the new hospital is in train,” she then highlighted, “other works that have materialized this year for ensuring that an acceptable standard of healthcare services is in place and especially bearing in mind the health and safety of the workers, patients and residents who utilise the existing health facilities.”

She referenced the more appealing environs at both the St Johns and St Peter’s health Centers,” pointing out, “it was important for the staff to be included in the decision making and the aesthetics were based on their input…” commending the effort of the nurses who she said had put in much thought…

Not only the environment but “the Services of the Clinics have been enhanced through the upgrade of Clinic Maids to Health Aids having completed a six month intense training – to upskill the staff to better support the clinics and the clients in their environment.” 

The services for diabetics have now been improved with the appropriate equipment at the health centers for eye checks and at the lab for regular blood and other screenings. “I am encouraging all those who require these services to use them.”

The current infrastructure for hospital services has been mostly upgraded – All of the hospital wards are now fully resourced with new hospital beds among other furnishings, easing the strain of those having to assist with movement or lifting of patients and for better comfort of the patients. The windows and doors are now replaced, walkways between the casualty area and wards repaved for safety and better transport of patients – and other facilities and roof being recovered.

The Minister said they had already spent 93% of the equipment budget, ”…procuring various pieces of essential equipment which are at various points of delivery and implementation.” She noted, “there is still more equipment needed to be replaced.”

She mentioned one of the major challenge in delivering healthcare services was procuring equipment for the visiting specialist programme, for endoscopy and colonoscopy interventions. But overcoming some challenges she cited, “plans are in place to provide support to the men that require special injections to treat prostate conditions,” noting that there are to be amendments to the Public Health Act to allow for this support, and ”thanks to Hon Dr Ingrid Buffonge for her role in this intervention.”

The world Pediatric project has now been formally extended to Montserrat. She said in November, Key representatives were on island to put in place the mechanisms for Montserrat to access free medical care for critically ill children. “Health care is provided at no cost to parent,” she noted while adding that the programme also provides opportunities for our doctors to be exposed to a number of medical interventions as it relates to children. 

A draft of the “elderly care policy policy has gone through further consultation during the year. Interventions to manage the sewage issues at Margetson Memorial, Lookout Warden and New Windward are at various stages of work, while, improvement works at the Lookout Cemetery has also being progressed with the paving of the road and roundabout, works will continue in the New Year to widen the roundabout and put in place other amenities for the public when visiting the cemetery

Apparently joking about ‘flying high’ connecting to a calypso which involves her, she said, “my overseas missions have also bore much fruits. When I fly Madame Speaker, I fly high and I don’t come back empty handed.” She referred to a five year agreement with the Pan American Organization /World Health Organization, for a technical corporation plan; as it allows for other streams of funding to assist with the Implementation of various aspects of our strategic plan in improving health care on Montserrat. She mentioned also – access to support of Health Education in England to provide opportunities ‘for our health staff to have stints abroad to continue to keep

their skills fresh.”

Still ‘flying high’, she referred to her signing of “a Memorandum of Understanding for child safeguarding with Falkland Islands, UK and other Overseas Territories that provides a number of opportunities for the social sector in our response to safeguarding the children of Montserrat this will include training for our Social Services staff.”

She also gained commitment from the UK “to assist with strengthening public health systems to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies and achieve International Health Regulations (IHR) compliance – backed under a fully funded programme that is available to Montserrat until 2020.”

She adds that through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Social Services department will continue to benefit from additional technical and training over the next four years from CASCAF, who made their first visit to the island in early November, “to assess our needs.”

The Social Protection Bill which will replace the Social Welfare Act has also been developed this year with the help of UNICEF, while “most importantly the passage of the Childcare and Adoption Bill in October this year. Montserrat has also requested that the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women be extended to Montserrat.

“To top it all off,” she spoke of the filling of key vacant posts of, “we Say welcome to Dr Lowell Lewis our very own, Chief Medical Officer.” A Health Promotion Officer, and Clinical Psychologist, eleven positions in Social Services which includes the resourcing of the Child Protection Unit. She was, pleased to say that the Acting Director Social Services “is one of our very own Montserratian from the Diaspora, Ms Phyllis Dyer, who has contributed well over 30 years in the Social Service Sector in the United Kingdom.”

“This is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s in store for the Ministry of Health and Social Services.”

She says, “the Education Sector has been flying high.”

Significant to this is having trained teachers in place at the Montserrat Secondary School in addressing the teaching gaps and overcoming the years of difficulty to recruit teachers.

All primary schools are being prepared for installation of interactive white boards. Teachers have received their first round of training so far, Madame speakers, “this government’s intention is to make formal education interesting, engaging and inspiring.”

For the last two years “we have exceeded our target of passes on five subject or more we have maintained a 42% achievement in both years.”

There is own an Education Planner, who will better guide the sector in its planning.

She addressed several programme: reading programme and book parade, math bee and

Science and math fair. MSS had its first Christmas concert after a long break; the Ministry has had the commitment of funding for the long awaited National Curriculum Development, for which the Caribbean Examination Council has expressed their willingness to undertake this tasks.

An entire month was dedicated to the youth and launched the youth and sports development programme. Various aspects of this programme are on the way, this will introduce a number of key developments in this sector.

She counted as good progress: Excellent passes at the Montserrat community college in 12 of 23 subject areas with 100% results. Montserrat also ranked in the first 10 in digital media. The reintroduction of building and construction programme yielded nine graduates with six persons completing stage one of the newly introduced cosmetology programme. 

The signing of an Agreement with the OECS for Montserrat to be the Administrative hub for the Eastern Caribbean Institute. “…this provides opportunities for jobs for locals as well as a number of benefits to the economy on a whole.”

In the Sporting Arena, work continues on Salem park improvements, also the Montserrat Football Association with the installation of two minis football – and ensured Montserrat’s presence on the regional scene in basketball, volleyball and cricket to some extent. 

Madam Speaker, our relations with UNESCO is bearing fruits, we have had our first meeting in June, since Montserrat became the 100th associate member in November 2015, where I had the opportunity to share and shape the lifelong learning work plan for the Caribbean.

Madam Speaker that plan allows for opportunities to develop lifelong learning in all sectors over a five year period, whether it being in a formal setting such as the Montserrat Community College, on the job or in the community, Montserrat stands to benefit from a number of these interventions.

She ended with the call from the Hon Premier, “Now is the Season: called to lead, prepared to serve and moved to change. Now is indeed the season.” As she extended Christmas and New Year greetings to all.