PM to appoint another minister of health after COVID-19 crisis

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said he will appoint another minister of health once The Bahamas has gotten past the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnis assumed the portfolio of minister of health after Dr. Duane Sands resigned on May 4.

On Wednesday, during an interview with ZNS, Minnis said, “During this transition, I felt that I probably would’ve been the best person to fill in at this particular time. But, remember, I filled in all the various, different other ministries at the same time.

“But I think as soon as we open and we’ve gotten over this COVID, you will see a substantive minister. You’ll have a minister of health who will be there.”

He said he has someone in mind for the position.

Minnis expressed confidence that that individual will do “an excellent job as a senior minister”.

“I look at the broader picture,” he said.

“I look at the whole parliamentary setup. I look at the Cabinet now.

“I look at backbenchers and I would enter discussions with individuals. And we take a lot of factors into consideration.”

Sands resigned over a controversial decision to allow six permanent residents to disembark on New Providence last month and quarantine at home while the borders remained closed to Bahamians.

Given that the country is in the middle of fighting a health crisis, there is a widespread view that the minister of health needs to be a doctor who intimately understands public health issues and the inner workings and challenges of the health system in The Bahamas.

As there are already three Cabinet ministers who are senators — Attorney General Carl Bethel, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes and Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson — Minnis did not have the immediate option of making a senate appointment and making that person minister of health.

Minnis’ decision to assume the portfolio was not surprising to many as he is a physician by profession and served as minister of health in the last Ingraham administration.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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