Diaz-Musa’s not qualified to be DHS

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Dr. Melissa Diaz Musa

The Public Services Commission (PSC) met on Friday, February 19 for the first time since the change of administration. One of the items on the agenda for consideration was the appointment of Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa as the new Director of Health Services (DHS). She has been acting in that position since mid-December when she was given the post as the DHS was on sick leave, suffering from Covid-19.
After meeting on the matter, the PSC did not appoint Diaz-Musa as the DHS since the post is not vacant. Notwithstanding that, the public services regulations are clear on how an appointment can take place.
Section 27 of the regulations states that:
(1) The Commission shall not allow a public officer who is appointed to act in a vacant post, to act for more than one year if that public officer meets the criteria under regulations 38 for promotion to that vacant post.
(2) The commission may appoint a public officer to act in a post that is not vacant for which he is qualified, for a specified period.
(3) Where more than one public officer is eligible for appointment to act in a post, such public officers may be rotated to act during the period of acting.
The regulations go even further at Section 38 (1) where it categorically states that, “a public officer shall not be promoted to a post for which he is not qualified.
A layman’s reading of the regulations then, tells us that Diaz-Musa cannot legally hold the position of DHS. By our investigations, she is not qualified to hold the post. As we understand it she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in medicine and surgery from the University of the West Indies. The post requires the holder to be a practicing medical practitioner as well as hold a post graduate degree in public health or equivalent with an additional eight years in experience. No matter how long Dr. Musa has been practicing, she has no experience with a post graduate degree because she has none.
Even further was that Diaz-Musa was not in line for the promotion as there were other persons that ought to have been considered for the position.