Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL), Junior Minister for Tourism Hon Sharie B. de Castro (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL), Deputy Speaker Hon Neville A. Smith (AL), Fourth District Representative Hon Mark H. Vanterpool and Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines voted in favour of the appointment.
There were five absent voters: Leader of the Opposition Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5), Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull and Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) chose to abstain from voting because his wife, Mrs Esther Wheatley, is a member of the board.
After passing the motion, Hon Malone explained that he was seeking approval to appoint Mr Smith for a period of three years, to take effect from July 15, 2021.
Hon Malone said Mr Smith has over 30 years of experience in health care, human services, budgeting, emergency management and government operations. He also has over 24 years in federal and inter-governmental relationships working across the public and private, and not for profit sectors and has served in various capacities in the health sector in the USVI.
Contributing to the debate, Opposition Leader Hon Penn said he would have preferred to have someone who was in tune with what was taking place in the territory for the post.
“I have gone through his resume and his record of accomplishment. Very stellar record of accomplishment, he is a Virgin Islander, one that has lived in the diaspora, but I have gotten serious encouragement from persons within the USVI and beyond who worked with Mr Smith and holds him in high regard in terms of his contributions in the areas he has worked in and his contributions in health care in general.”
“Mr Speaker, the challenges facing our territory currently with COVID-19 and the other pressures, the economic pressures are real, and it requires a level of dedication, a level of commitment and a level of knowledge of the industry, not just from ta health services point of view but from a management’s point of view. We need to have the proper structures in place in terms of managing health care as a business. It requires persons firmly planted in the institution to understand the demographics of the institution and to understand what the different needs are,” Hon Penn said.
Hon claimed; however, that had no issues with the nominee as an individual, but “I personally would have loved to have someone on the ground dealing with the issues concerning COVID-19 specifically with the structural issues and the human resource issues that we have to navigate currently.”
Hon Fraser also debated on the motion, stated that he knew Mr Smith, he knew of his experience and that his credentials were ‘impeccable’ and this nomination was a good one.
Hon Fraser said Mr Smith coming on board in the territory’s Health Services would benefit greatly, especially since he has been a part of the USVI fabric for a very long time.
Honourable Fraser added that he believes Mr Smith would make some much-needed changes to the modus operandi of the service offerings and make it friendlier.
The other board members will be Dr Karl Dawson as Deputy Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority Board for a period of three years with effect from August 13, 2021, Mrs Kishelle Blaize-Cameron and Ms Andrea Walters as members of the BVI Health Services Authority Board, for a period of three respectively, with effect from July 15, 2021.
In addition, Mrs Esther Wheatley, Ms Kisha Frett and Mr Lemuel Smith will serve as Members of the BVI Health Services Authority Board for three years starting from July 15, 2021.
Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) said he would have prefer someone other than Mr Moleto Smith Jr to be Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA). Photo: VINO/Filerd (SSB) to partially fund government's Economic Stimulus Programme.
Opposition Member and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA said the BVi Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) would benefit greatly from the services of Mr Moleto A. Smith Jr. he said he believes Mr Smith would make some much-needed changes to the modus operandi of the service offerings and make it friendlier.