Sunday, February 28, 2016


Following the tirade that James Michel hurled at the health and education professionals; at least one of the two ministers concerned met with her ‘Waterloo ‘ in the afternoon of Monday 22nd February, in the Ministry of Health. The woman whose wardrobe seems to consists of anything and everything red, had called a meeting of all health professionals, seemingly to follow-up on the litany of instances of alleged malpractice and mismanagement, which were levelled against her ministry, by her boss during his SONA last week.

One health worker opined that she suffered from a Freudian slip and started off addressing what she thought was a gathering of party faithfuls from Marie Jeanne Estate on Baie Ste. Anne Praslin!

Not only have the health professionals been ridiculed about their performance; but to add insult to injury, they have also been accused of politicking while on duty. What is ironic is that the person the most guilty of abusing her position to politicize and campaign in the Ministry of Health, is Madam Mitcy Larue herself !

She has her team of foot soldiers at all levels in the ministry, who before and during last year’s presidential election were campaigning for the ruling party. Perhaps the most glaring and objectionable incident was when Michel Faure got the Cuba trained doctor to don his ‘kitenge’ and address the crowd at the rally, where he denigrated the opposition’s supporters, particularly the Lalyans Seselwa Executive Committee Members!

How can the general public have faith in the health system when health professionals who are supposed to serve without fear nor favor, openly show allegiance to a party that has a record of victimization of the Seychellois who are political dissidents? Interestingly enough while his colleagues health professionals openly and candidly expressed their outrage and frustrations to the Minister, the doctor who was kitenge clad during the rally of the reds, sat and listened in muted silence.

Whispers doing the rounds in the hospital have it that State House has not kept its promise to the good doctor to elevate him to the rank of minister. He had allegedly agreed to come out and speak in favour of Michel on the understanding that he would be replacing the ‘lady in red!’ Perhaps you should stick to your scalpel dear doctor. Politics are for the rough and tough and many have been used and discarded after they had served their purpose for Michel and co.

It would appear that Mrs. Larue had dangled some obscure promise before the health professionals, to be delivered on health workers day, but this cut no ice with those who had had enough of being unappreciated while giving their best. When a leader fails to understand and appreciate the challenge, frustrations and low morale of his or her troops, then he or she is no more a leader and should step aside in the interest of the organization and in this case, of the Ministry of Health and ultimately in the interest of the Seychellois patients who are its clients.

One thing is clear,- the professionals in this country have found their voice. Gone are the days when the Seychellois workers do not question the shenanigans of the ruling party. If Madam Larue is to seriously start on an audit of MOH, she should start with the dialysis unit which has been the subject of much controversy over the last year. The only way to clear all the accusations around the Abu Dhabi backed company managing the dialysis unit, is to bring in an independent firm (from South Africa for example), to carry out a comprehensive audit of this unit. That is if the CEO would give his blessings to such a development!

Finally, I have spent four very fulfilling years at the Ministry of Health and I have witnessed just how devotedly and how hard the health professionals work to keep the service delivery at an acceptable level.

For a leader and a supposedly Head of State at that, to publicly berate, criticize and scold the health professionals the way Michel did, is to lower their worth in the eyes of people whom they serve. That is a sign of a weak leader and at the very least a leader who has not grasped the basics tools of organizational management and inspirational leadership.

I therefore salute all health professionals who gave the minister a good dose of home truth! I know that home truths hurt. Perhaps she will do the most honourable thing and find an exit where she would not lose face.

As for the other professionals in the public service, my advice to you all is to stand up for your rights and for the respect that you deserve. Do not give in to incompetent and under- qualified leaders who are supposedly running government without knowing their -sides from the hole in the ground.

Long live freedom of speech.

Source:Seychelles Weekly