Sum for elderly nurse from Ministry of Health

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Sum for elderly nurse from Ministry of Health

Tell Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, May 10, 2020

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Dear Claudienne

I am having a serious problem with the Ministry of Health regarding salary owed to me since 2014.

I am a retired nurse practitioner who, after retirement, did special duties— that is sessionals for the Department of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services (EDMASS) in the Ministry of Health.

My duties were as follows:

I was on duty at the Cabinet post during meetings of the Cabinet on Mondays and when the Cabinet went on retreat.

I was also on duty when officials such as Prince Harry, Minister Farakan, and prime ministers Gonzales and Keith Mitchel visited Jamaica.

The medical post where I was on duty was set up at the hotels where the officials stayed and wherever they went.

The medical post consisted of myself, two emergency medical technicians, an ambulance, and the driver of the ambulance.

Arising from my frustration with the irregular payments I was receiving from the ministry, I gave up the job in February of 2016.

After I gave up the job I made several attempts to get the money I was owed. I made several phone calls and sent letters to the ministry but to no avail.

I became desperate and in 2017 I contacted a lawyer who wrote to the permanent secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health. The PS replied and informed my lawyer that she had passed the matter to their legal firm.

I have sent several copies of my bills both to the ministry's accounts department, the EDMASS department in the ministry, and their law firm.

What is frightening is that the responses between the lawyers have been few and far between.

I am in my eighties with several medical issues and am desperately in need of my funds.

My claim was for over one million dollars. I am a Grade 5 nurse and my sessional payments were based on the sessional rates set by the Nurses Association of Jamaica.

I trust that you will be able to help me.

JR

Dear JR

After contacting the head of the MOH's Public Relations office and the administrative assistant of the permanent secretary of the MOH, in early March 2020, Tell Claudienne learned that the MOH had sent your file to the attorney general (AG).

When Tell Claudienne contacted the AG department the secretary of the lawyer to whom your file had been assigned told the column to speak to your lawyer.

Your lawyer informed Tell Claudienne that there was a stalemate between himself and the legal officer at the AG who had recently requested a second copy of the claim documents he had already sent to her. Your lawyer said he had already sent the claim documents to her in March 2019.

Your lawyer also pointed out that the original letter of claim that you sent to the MOH accounts department and to the EDMASS, had contained copies of the bills and sessions you were claiming for.

Your attorney-at-law told Tell Claudienne the following:

"I wrote to the MOH in 2017 and in October 2017 I sent all the the documents to the permanent secretary. This was the second set of documents that was sent to them. On January 2, 2018 the legal department wrote and said that the claim was being reviewed. Then in December 2018, the legal department wrote to inform me that the claim was being sent to the attorney general."

Within a short time of speaking with your lawyer Tell Claudienne again contacted the secretary of the AG's lawyer investigating your claim.

The secretary then told the column that on March 17, 2020, the AG had informed your lawyer by letter that the MOH owed you $300,000.

You have advised Tell Claudienne that your lawyer has sent you a copy of the letter he received from the AG. This letter contains a list of the payments made to you by the MOH.

We note that after checking the MOH's list of payments with the copies of the list of cheques you had received, you have now agreed that the MOH owes you $300,000 and not the one million dollars you had originally claimed.

We wish you all the best.


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