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  • RT @dannyfeetham: Great letter today in the @GibChronicle by Victor Dumas. Succinct and to the point. Govt has reduced the budget session t… 3 days ago
  • RT @dannyfeetham: If we had mortgaged six Government housing estates I would have been lynched and accused of being rabidly right wing. 3 days ago
  • Read Roy Clinton's opinion piece in today's Chronicle. Also don't miss Viewpoint on GBC tonight at 9.30pm - all abo… 7 days ago
  • Yet another consultant has left the GHA according to information being received by us from distressed patients - 7 days ago
  • RT @dannyfeetham: Instructing Lord Pannick QC to argue an academic appeal on the right of Minister to withdraw a parole application seems O… 8 days ago
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Doctor resignations will affect continuity of care

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Yet another consultant has left the GHA according to information being received by the GSD from distressed patients who have had appointments cancelled.  This follows the resignation of Dr Kovac, a surgeon at the hospital, within the last few weeks and four consultants last year together with an unprecedented morale survey conducted by doctors at the hospital.  This time, we are told it is Dr Lorenc the endocrinologist that has suddenly resigned. The news has been so sudden that patients were called yesterday to be told that appointments with the doctor today were cancelled.  Dr Lorenc was a highly regarded doctor who saw (amongst other patients) people suffering from diabetics.  It is inevitable that this and other recent resignations will create an unfortunate vacuum in continuity of care. The GSD calls on the Government to explain what contingency plans it has in place to reassure patients who have had their appointments cancelled that they will be seen by alternative doctors within a reasonable period of time.

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GSD successfully drives forward its position on mandatory drugs testing in prisons

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We are pleased that as a direct result of our questioning in the last session of Parliament the Government has agreed with our position, namely, that we should ensure that the Prison Service makes use of the statutory powers it has in order to make mandatory drugs testing of inmates a reality.  It will be recalled that it was the former GSD Government that made provision for mandatory drugs testing in Prisons but some 5 years later the Government has been very slow to expedite this critical work within our Prisons.

Last year Elliott Phillips MP asked the former Justice Minister Gilbert Lucudi QC MP questions on the mandatory testing of prisoners.  We were told three things by the former Justice Minister (1) that the technology for such tests was not calibrated (2) that the Superintendent preferred voluntary arrangements with Prisoners in exchange for privileges (3) that the Superintendent of Prisons had not issued the requisite statutory notice despite the legal framework being put in place by a GSD Government over 5 years ago.

In the recent parliamentary session the newly appointed Justice Minister agreed with the Opposition and accepted our invitation to speak with the Superintendent in order to ensure that mandatory drugs testing of inmates was to be actively pursued.

Elliott Phillips, Shadow Justice Minister, said “we believe it is right that the authorities use the powers at their disposal to get inmates away from drugs and their abuse and moving them towards making a positive contribution to our community. Substance abuse must be tackled at ever level in our community and if we have the statutory muscle to tackle drugs there is no reason why we should not do so. We continue to express disappointment not to have received a explanation for the 5 year delay of the Government to ensure that mandatory drugs testing becomes a practical reality but we welcome Minister Costa’s stance and his commitment to working with us on this important issue”.

Elliott Phillips

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Blame GSD for Marrache parole is just surreal

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The Government’s latest statement in relation to the Marrache debacle is surreal. Now it is suggesting that Isaac Marrache has been released because of legislation introduced by GSD Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition, Danny Feetham, when he was Minister for Justice. It takes their “blame the GSD” mantra to a whole new levels. It is also not true. The qualifying period for parole has been in existence for decades and has nothing to do with Danny Feetham or the GSD.

The GSD introduced the current appeal procedure, whereby the Minister for Justice was given the power to ask the Supreme Court to review the decision of the Parole Board, where he felt, on the face of their reasoning, that the Parole Board had got it wrong. It is that procedure that the current Minister for Justice, Mr. Costa, has botched in the case of Isaac Marrache by placing the matter before the Supreme Court and then attempting to withdraw his application.

Daniel Feetham said “First I was accused of cutting the electricity supply to mothers and babies, and now it is my fault that Isaac Marrache has been released on parole. I suppose it was also my fault that the Minister so botched the matter that Mr. Marrache was unlawfully at large, according to the judge, for a quite some time before the issue was finally resolved.”

“The fact is that the Government has had five years to change the law on parole. It could have done so before any of the Marrache brothers qualified for parole and it chose not to do so.”

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