Department of Health and Social Development Statement on Public Health Unit

DECLARATION OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
TO
THE PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT

Friday, March 4, 2022

The Department of Health and Social Development has been made aware of publicly circulating information regarding the concerns raised by the Public Health Unit.

The department has already responded to several of the concerns expressed. For example, compensation for work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently being handled in consultation with key agencies including the Deputy Governor’s Office, the Human Resources Department and the Ministry of Finance. Discussions are ongoing regarding the designation of relevant members of the public health team as risk management officers.

Additionally, with regard to accommodation, the Unit has now been relocated after occupying temporary space following the devastating events of 2017. The Department was able to make adjustments to the new location to ensure suitable working accommodation for the team. The ministry is now awaiting clinical documentation from people who may be unable to cross the stairs.

The Ministry of Health thanks the Deputy Governor for meeting with the small fraction of the unit on different occasions, in order to further address the concerns raised. We are glad that these concerns have been taken into account. The Department of Health and Social Development remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of all its staff.

The Government of the Virgin Islands and in particular the Department of Health and Social Development along with the people of the Virgin Islands join in expressing their full and wholehearted gratitude to all public and private officers/officials who have served on the front line in the battle to meet the challenges of COVID-19 since its declaration as a global pandemic in March 2020.

Joel C. Hicks