Blame DEM

QEH says all-clear confusion forced outpatient cancellations

The administration of the island’s main general health care institution is blaming confusion caused by disaster management officials over the timing of the all-clear following the passage of Tropical Storm Harvey for forcing the cancellation of outpatient services.

Chief Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Dr Dexter James told Barbados TODAY this afternoon it was a problem of indecision.

“We had to cancel the outpatients’ clinics because there was indecision as to when the all-clear was given. It was coming too close to clinic time, so we had to cancel them. Other than that, everything ran smoothly,” Dr James said, while giving the assurance that the clinics would be rescheduled in the shortest possible time.

Early this morning when Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) Kerry Hinds updated the media following the storm, she shied away from using the term “all-clear”. Instead, Hinds told reporters at the DEM Warrens, St Michael headquarters that all Government offices and private businesses would resume operations at noon.

“What I would have indicated to Barbados is the fact that we are presently on the ground clearing the various arteries because we want to resume business as early as 12 p.m. today. I would have also indicated that based on the fact that when we closed yesterday, we would have closed the public service at a particular time, and of course, the Chamber of Commerce would have recommended the staggered closure of the private sector. After consultation we would have agreed that we should aim for the 12 o’clock resumption of business,” Hinds said.

Later, after Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite toured one of the worst-affected areas in St Peter, he explained that Hinds had indeed given the all-clear when she said businesses would reopen at noon.

“It’s not really a term of art, you know. There is no difference between us saying that we are going to advise the country that we are going to have a 12 o’clock resumption in business and if I say we can issue an all-clear for people to resume business at 12 o’clock,” Brathwaite contended.

In further explaining the rationale for using the term “resumption of business”, the minister asked if “all-clear” meant workers must be in position by noon.

“Automatically, if we say ‘all-clear’ at 10:23, then staff members are expected to leave home by 10:23 and be at their desk. That’s why I was cautious about it. It’s only because you guys [reporters] are insisting, that I say let me be cautious, because I just want to be all clear what I am saying,” he stressed.

11 Responses to Blame DEM

  1. jrsmith August 19, 2017 at 3:55 am

    You cannot expect anything other than whats happening , the failure of every part of public life in barbados….. …….Failure of management at our major hospital is frightening ,in most cases its a mess , what would really happen if we had a serious disaster. ………………..In all cases in barbados we need to bring in characters from harry potter to manage our country……………….
    Our politicians are the ones who has destroyed our country, in the pursuit of they own happiness ……… We must put things right we need to control them , its our peoples time to retain some part of our democracy………….
    If a flying saucer landed in barbados full of aliens and they ask to see our leader I wonder who will turn up…………………….

  2. Tony Webster August 19, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Masters of obfuscation; confounding; confusion, twiddling and twaddling. Without Big Brains explaining to us how, and when, to put on our shoes….how could we possibly decide when to leave home and go back to work? All Clear as mud to me. Standby for a new a law defining “ALL CLEAR” in three different levels.

    • Bajan August 19, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Well said, Tony Webster.

  3. harry turnover August 19, 2017 at 7:05 am

    The all clear should have been given at 9.00 am when the Met Office said in their 5.00 am bulletin that the flood watch would have been discontinued at that time ( 9.00 am).

  4. Bajan August 19, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Up till now, the Government of Barbados has not given the ‘All Clear’ announcement. After months of advertising Hurricane tips, and talking about wait until the All Clear is given, the Department of Emergency Management did not announce an All Clear. For hours after the storm people were waiting and confused. We had to assume and guess that it was ok to come out because there was no guidance from government. Not good enough DEM.

  5. Bajan August 19, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Just apologize to the people. Next time consult with the professionals at GIS and they would advise on what to say and how to say it. They are the experts on mass communication and human behaviour. Downright royal blunder yesterday.

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 19, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Wow glad this was not a major system because these big shot clowns running Barbados seriously phatetic.

  7. just observing August 19, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Just a case of too many square pegs in round holes. Political appointments appear to be hurting this country. Nowadays, it is not who is best suited to perform the job. It is making sure ‘people’ get appointed. Trust me.

    • VoR August 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      It has been like that for decades not just now. This square pegs in round holes problem is deeply entrenched in our culture. It’s all about friends and family in Barbados.

  8. Cindy Bunting
    Cindy Bunting August 19, 2017 at 11:16 am

    People doing jobs well beyond their capabilities.

  9. Jennifer August 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    All of this peoples problems come from the same dark source. We love living in porky’s syndrome. Do you have a reconnaissance aircraft??? Do we have any weather detection systems or instruments???? this is why independence is nothing but a myth. It is even evident that your education is limited hence…………… Then the only thing left to do is to play out this politics rubbish and blame games. God help us if a tidal wave came up by the way of Bridgetown.


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