Minister’s wife rethinks accepting gov’t post

PORT OF SPAIN — Amid controversy surrounding her pending appointment as director of medical health at the North West Regional Health Authority, Dr. Carol Bhagan-Khan yesterday admitted she was now reconsidering taking up the appointment.

“I am wondering if it makes sense given all the controversy it has created,” she said. “I spoke to my husband and I am kind of pulling back because I do not know if it makes logical sense to accept the job.”

Bhagan-Khan, wife of Minister of Health Fuad Khan, was commenting on the public criticism which came yesterday after a news report highlighted her pending appointment to the position. Many people calling in to radio programmes said her appointment would be a conflict of interest, especially since her husband was directly responsible for all matters of health under the State’s watch.

In an immediate response to the issues raised, the minister, in a radio interview on I95FM yesterday, admitted his wife’s appointment to the position would place him in a precarious position as minister. He said they had had a conversation about it before she decided to apply for the job, but Bhagan-Khan was determined to go ahead with it. Nonetheless, Khan said, he would now try to convince her not to pick up the job.

Second thoughts

Yesterday, Bhagan-Khan admitted she was having second thoughts, but maintained that the focus should be on whether she is qualified for the job.

“I could make a difference,” she said in a telephone interview. “I do not know why I should not be allowed to apply for any job in the health sector because my husband is the health minister.

“I do not see the rationale behind it. If I applied for the position, and the people who interviewed me are impressed, and they feel I can do the job, why should I be minded?” (Guardian)

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