OFFICE of the Attorney General will provide training for members of the Solomon Islands Medical Association (SIMA) on the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 in the wake of the sacking of Dr. Claude Posala.
Posala, a specialist and head of the Eye Department at the National Referral Hospital was terminated last week for refusing to comply in the first instance with a warning from Ministry’s senior officials to refrain from posting internal COVID-19 related communications on social media.
Following the sacking, SIMA members met with officials of the Attorney General’s chamber, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Ministry of Public Service.
SIMA vice president Dr. Alex Bradley Munamua said during the meeting they submitted a letter to the government requesting the reinstatement of Posala.
However, they were told that Posala was terminated for refusing to comply in the first instance with a warning from the ministry’s senior officials to refrain from posting internal COVID-19 related communications on social media.
This was in according to Regulation 26 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 during the period of ‘State of Emergency’.
Munamua also said during the meeting, they asked for training for all medical officers on the regulations. The training will be conducted this Friday.
“Also highlighted in the meeting is to have a wider consultation for its members during such a crisis to avert undermining our capacity to address a situation where we need all medical officers available,” Munamua said.
He said Posala is a highly skilled and trained medical officer in the field of Ophthalmology and also is a team leader in the Isolation Cluster.
“All parties agreed and acknowledged that due to the medical care of Dr. Claude Posala, alternative options of utilizing his expertise is being considered based on immediate COVID-19 priorities and Posala’s own voluntary offer of assistance to the Ministry of Health.
“SIMA has also requested the Office of the Prime Minister that more transparency be applied in the way allowances are allocated to its personnel working during such Epidemic and Pandemic emergencies which in the past has always brought about a lot of unfairness due to a lack of transparent administration.
“SIMA has always believed in dialogue to resolve issues concerning its members and thanks to the Office of the Prime Minister and the Public Service department for addressing the matter seriously, not forgetting the support of the Heads of Department at the National Referral Hospital.
“We will continue to fight against injustice to our members while providing the duty of care to patients and people of the Solomon Islands.
“Despite the unfortunate termination of Posala, we will rise again from the ashes of despair and work together to fight against our common enemy COVid 19.
“SIMA understands that the functions of all Trade Unions under the current State of Public Emergency will be limited and thus will use this umbrella as a single voice to directly channel to parties which have any effect on our members.
“Posala was not only our leader but a lamp that glowed to shine upon us during times of uncertainty and frustrations ensuring that no one is left behind.
“We the members of SIMA denounce all forms of corruption and remain committed to working closely with the Solomon Islands Government to ensure ongoing services to our people.”