Nurses intensify protest as Linden Hospital CEO returns to post

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Nurses protesting for the removal of the Linden Hospital CEO

Chief Executive Officer of the Linden Hospital Complex Rudy Small has been instructed by the Ministry of Health to return to his post effective March 3.

Small was yesterday removed from the post as CEO of the Linden Hospital following days of protest from nurses and other regional officials after he made “salacious comments” about the conduct of nurses, especially those on the nightshift.

However, in a letter dated March 2 from the Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary Malcolm Watkins, the Linden Hospital CEO was informed that “the leadership of the Ministry, having had a frank discussion with you, has decided that you are to return to your position as the Chief Executive Officer of the Linden Hospital Complex…”

“The Ministry of Health wishes to caution that we expect you to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with the position you are employed in. we expect that you will engage in activities with the staff that mend the tension in relationship that presently exists,” the letter added.

Linden Hospital CEO Rudy Small [Guyana Chronicle photo]
It went on to note that “we expect your conduct in the future will be consistent with the ideas and mission of the Linden Hospital Complex and that you are faithful to the ideals and the mission of the LHC as you carry out your duties and responsibilities.”

The CEO returned to his office today – triggering an uproar from nurses who took to the streets to demand his permanent removal from the post. The protest actions escalated, causing law enforcement officials to intervene. One nurse alleged that she was physically assaulted by a hospital driver whom she alleged has damaged her phone. The hospital driver has since been taken into police custody.

Meanwhile, the CEO has since issued a statement of apology. In the statement, he said “I am issuing an unequivocal apology to the nurses and all the staff of the Linden Hospital Complex. I made a statement that was hurtful to the nurses and that must have hurt other staff. There is no excuse for my public utterances on this matter, and I am therefore, sincerely apologising to all those that my utterances have hurt.”

The full letter of apology issued by Linden Hospital CEO Rudy Small

Small had previously explained that in mid-February, a reporter from an online news agency which he named, inquired into the reason why the Linden Hospital Complex requested budgetary funding for the introduction of an Electronic Timekeeping System. He said he explained that among the several challenges the Linden Hospital Complex experiences a situation whereby a small number of staff members is signing in to work and then disappearing until the end of their shifts. He said he further explained that it is the strong belief of the Linden Hospital management that the Electronic Timekeeping System would make it more difficult for staff members to leave their shifts for long periods of time.

“At the end of the interview, off the record, the reporter and I engaged in casual banter. During that off-record conversation, certain popular rumours relating to the issue of disappearing staff members were highlighted. Those rumours have nothing to do with the introduction of a timekeeping system at the hospital,” the CEO had explained.