Health minister’s spouse gets top medical job

regionalcarolbhagaankhanPORT OF SPAIN — Dr. Carol Bhagan-Khan, the wife of Health Minister Fuad Khan, is the new executive medical director of the North West Regional Health Authority.

The appointment, however, has created quite a stir in the health fraternity, with some questioning the apparent conflict of interest given that Bhagan-Khan’s husband is the minister responsible for dealing with all health matters.

“If a matter that warrants disciplinary action comes up how is the minister going to act?” a hospital source asked yesterday.

But Khan yesterday said he had no objection to the appointment, noting that once the recruiting process was conducted transparently there was no issue to discuss.

“Once things were done transparently I cannot have any objections to it, once the proper procedures were followed,” Khan told the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview.

“If the proper procedures were not followed then I would have to take action with the board. They would have had to go through advertising, interviews and determinations.

“The best person has to be chosen for the job based on marks. So if that was followed I cannot quarrel. But if that was not followed they (the board) will have to answer.”

T&T Guardian understands the contract is for a two-year period with a salary of approximately $20,000, plus perks. Bhagan-Khan, who was the former chairman at the Occupational Safety and Health Authority, confirmed yesterday that she had been “verbally informed” of her appointment.

Bhagan-Khan said she was interviewed for the position last Thursday.

“I have not been informed officially. I feel quite good about it, but I have not received anything in writing as yet,” Bhagan-Khan said.

“I was verbally told at the interview that I had probably got it. They said most likely I had got it and they will have a contract for me next week.” (Guardian)

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