Providenciales, 09 Oct 2014 – Minister of Health, Porsha Smith saying a “sincere” sorry to the media and the public in a late day press release, yesterday.
The Minister would have walked out a press conference if she could have on Tuesday; the conference room at Environmental Health too packed with Health officials for her to get out … all because after a near seven week silence on health matters, media was charged with having too many questions about ChikV, Dengue Fever and Ebola.
All of which are serious health concers plaguing the region and world. Two of which are significantly impacting the two major islands. Suspected case numbers are growing too fast for doctors to keep count.
Minister Smith who started that press conference saying she wanted to improve on relations and information distribution, told media each could only ask two questions.
There was never an agreement on that announcement. Members of the press aimed to do their jobs and asked pertinent questions of the team, only to find the minister was counting them and eventually ordered answers to stop flowing.
“The boss said no” was one if the standout statements by a health director.
The event was shocking to residents who watched it in a loop on TV and read about it online in big numbers. Now the apology comes; issued by the Office of the Premier:
I would like to offer my sincere apology for the turn of events, as they occurred, at the Ministry of Health’s Press Conference yesterday.
There is no excuse for the way that I acted, and I especially extend my apology to the members of the media, member of my ministry, my government, my constituency and the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It is most unfortunate, that moment’s outburst overshadowed the purpose for which we were gathered, which was to provide the public with insight to the state of affairs as it relates to the health of the country in the wakes of the Chikungunya and Dengue Fever Viruses and especially in relation to the Ministry’s preparatory efforts in the face of the Ebola Virus.
I wish to assure the public that the portfolio of the Ministry of Health and Human Services is a responsibility that I do not take lightly and therefore regret if my thoughtless actions have demonstrated anything less.
I have apologized to my Ministerial colleagues and will be writing to the members of my Ministry in apology, as I am cognizant of my responsibility to be an example to all.
In the coming days my Ministry will be issuing additional information and continuous updates on encouraging and ongoing efforts being taken to minimize the country’s risk to current health threats.