Jackson Questions BHB Chief Of Staff Leave

July 17, 2012

“We are concerned to the learn the news that the Chief of Staff has been put on administrative leave given that this is a very senior position at KEMH,” OBA MP Louise Jackson said.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] recently confirmed that the hospital’s Chief of Staff, Dr Donald Thomas, is currently on “administrative leave while a Board review is carried out,” however declined to comment further.

Mrs Jackson noted that there has not been a formal explanation offered by the Minister nor the BHB, and asked a number of questions:

  • “Why was the decision taken to put Dr. Thomas on leave?
  • How long is it anticipated that he will be on leave, and is it paid leave?
  • Is there an internal review or investigation underway — and if so, when is this likely to be concluded?
  • Was the decision based on a single issue or have there been other issueswhich led to this decision?
  • Has an interim/acting Chief of Staff been appointed in the meantime?”

In response, a BHB spokesperson said: “The Board is committed to ensuring it works in line with its policiesand obligations, and that includes not commenting on individual matters.

“BHB has a full team of medical chiefs who are continuing to lead their respective areas and are currently covering the Chief of Staff role via an administrative rota as interim arrangements are put in place.”

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Comments (17)

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  1. SMH says:

    Inquiring minds want to know! Thanks for asking Mrs. Jackson. Wish you could get an answer. People on this island play real good cricket - some of the best 'stone-wall' batsmen I've ever seen!

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    • Rumandcoke says:

      Bless you Mrs. Jackson. What would we do without you? Was this Dr. Thomas the
      recipient of the outrageous salary of about $800,000 plus a year?

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      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Was Dr. Thomas getting more than other doctors in his position in other countries?

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        • Who Done it says:

          I do not know? Was he. Were we getting the same quality Dr. as these other countries for this position? I do not know, that is why we want answers not smoke and mirrors...

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        • Common Sense says:

          Laverne deserves full credit for asking a very sensible question and I am sure she will be the first person to agree that we, the public, are entitled to know the answer, and to be given the truth in this new age of transparency in our Government. Gone are the days when we can simply be told that a decision has been made and we the public have no right to know the truth.

          What we need to know is exactly what salary Dr. Thomas is, or was earning. We also need to know if he received any other financial remuneration through the hiring of doctors or staff, for the provision of services through our hospital, for travelling expenses, rent allowances etc. We are also entitled to know what qualifications Dr. Thomas has to hold this position so that we can be satisfied that he is the right person for the job. That should not be difficult because in order to satisfy our local medical board he must have the necessary qualifications from the country where he qualified, and he must be of good standing in that country.

          None of these questions should be difficult to answer. All it needs is for the public to be informed of the facts.

          Just one more excellent point that was made by Laverne. We also need to be given a comparative analysis of the salaries of doctors holding similar positions in hospitals of a similar size in other countries. Perhaps this could include similar sized hospitals in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, and the West Indies. Again, this should be very easy to answer because I'm confident that this sort of research would have been carried out BEFORE Dr. Thomas was hired, otherwise it would mean that his salary was decided using some other criteria, and I just can't imagine what that might be.

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          • A patient doctor says:

            Laverene's Question does go to the heart of the matter.
            Does he get the commensurate salary to someone in the USA (with cost of living adjustments). Yet we must also ask does the Cardiologist we hired and the Anesthesia specialist we hire and the Nephrologist and Endocrinologist. It may be a practice since the hiring of Dr. THomas to overpay the OBGYN's the Internists and the other managing staff. You see it has become apparent that the hospital is a place where many skeletons are kept and bodies are buried. Go FIgure of all places to house such. The hospital. A place where we should have trust and confidence. It is no wonder why they call it "Killer King". While Thomas is making big bucks little girls and old people are dying in the Emergency Room and on Surgeons tables. Our G.P.'s are kicked out and so there is nobody overseeing what is going on there. We need answers.
            1. Who does the BHB answer to?
            2. Who reviews the salaries and billing of the hospital?
            3. Without a competing hospital in the country, how do we know if we are getting a competitive price?
            4. How do we get an audit of the hospital by the Auditor General or the Ombudsman.
            5. WHo do we trust...?

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      • pepper says:

        Could Doctor Thomas, be a friend of our former premier? after all they both attended Howard university.....and are we the tax payers paying for his leave of absence ? and did he have a contract ? I know Mrs Jackson has the answers...

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        • Lets Just Kiss and Say Goodbye! says:

          Pepper,
          You are asking a question that makes you sound like you are against Howard University, the former Premier or Black people in General...I went to Howard (one of the only universities that historically allowed black people full development of their gifts...)and I don't know either of these men from that affiliation. Dr.Thomas is here because he had credentials to be here. He has contributed to the community. I don't think he has the best leadership style and he has betrayed the trust of a lot of doctors in this country. He does need to go because he is not trusted as a sincere leader. His office has little confidentiality. He did break some barriers however and he needs to be recognized for that. Despite that however he is seen as a manipulator and controlling and who abuses his authority. It is sad because he betrayed his own character and values. That is what is the irony about this story. He once told me that his grandmother was a woman of sterling principles a very spiritual woman...He learned a lot from her. He is proud of his father and grandfather whose name he shares. He comes from good people. He graduated from Howard University but he is also a graduate of HARVARD University..This is no dummy...I think the culture of leadership that he developed was driven by the assumption the he needed to establish that he was the "lead dog" in the pack here in Bermuda...Leadership theory state that this type of leadership gets things done in the short term but eventually the organization suffers from it as unrest develops among the organization. When this happens, Predictably there is a drop in morale all around along with deterioration of the leaders own moral compass. We all need checks and balances Lest we repeat many of the atrocities the we see in history. We need fairness, equity, justice and transparency. THis is what Dr. Thomas lacked. He created an abusive slave master model. HE exploited the trust of many of the young physicians and he gave bad examples to some of the developing leaders who he trained and mentored. As a result we have a high turnover of hospitalist staff and residents, dissatisfied nurses, uncertain leaders in medicine divisions who play up to him for favor. All of whom needed to develop respect, integrity, confidence and a sense of security. Dr. Thomas failed where we needed him most; building a cohesive community of care providers in an environment of professionalism, respect and competence. HE eventually gravitated toward those who were among the elite and grew more isolated with his manger/leadership team. Often the foreigner was more respected, overly compensated and supported more than the local...He has "reaped what he has sewn". The break down in confidence, break out in communication, break up of his support base and break in on his private life and personal values by intimations and street talk leave us with no other verdict that to do unto him what he has done unto others....lets just kiss and say goodbye...."I know how hard you tried donald but when we went to the board to get you this position you continuance was based upon you passing this test". Sorry but you have got to go!

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      • pepper says:

        Did Doctor Thomas receive $ 800.000 plus a year ? this has to be a mistake !!! who the hell gets payed this amount of money ? we need Zane to explain this !!! and where is Doctor Thomas ? is this another consultant that has come here and raped us ?

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        • A patient patient says:

          The real big fish got away...David Hill was paid loads of money for doing nothing...Now lets see how Vanetta Symonds (the new CEO who is making a mint) handles this...Can she fire Thomas for a breach of professional conduct like they have fired many other foreign doctors and wrecked their careers. The hospitalist system is most draconian and inept. The director is insecure and inexperienced with managing people. As a result the Physicians who serve us are just economic refugees who are not respected as qualified docs. THey are treated like they are all interns on Grays anatomy...GRIEF...and to imagine when I am sick I got to go under their knives....HELP!

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  2. jack says:

    I smell a rat! Something seems shady about this story.

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  3. Chardonnay says:

    The silence is deafening from all parties - press, BHB, etc. Where were you Bernews when the story broke? Playing safe? Only Mrs. Jackson has the courage to ask the tough questions. She puts everyone else to shame, big time. We need answers pronto - this is a critically important, tax-payer funded position. We have the right to know!!!

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  4. Terry says:

    I smell KFC.
    'King.......you'll get it.

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  5. Rockfish #1and#2 says:

    $800.000 basic per annum is about right. This doesn't include the insane perks that supplement his pay.

    Guess who recommended him, and had a hand in negotiating his contact?

    What does it matter, we have tons of money-right?

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  6. Blankman says:

    You can find out the salary for equivalent positions in Ontario here

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/digital-lab/which-ontario-employees-made-the-most-money-last-year-our-tool-helps-you-find-out/article621375/

    Adjusting for cost of living, $800,000 doesn't sound out of line.

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  7. Victor says:

    Dr. Ewart Brown, Mr. Zane DeSilva, et al's hurt and anguish at this grossly unjust treatment of this upstanding medical practitioner must be palpable. Dr. Brown, we need you back to save us from these philistines no matter what the cost might be...

    Not to mention getting the ferries to run on schedule too...

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    • Are You Serious says:

      Dear Victor,
      I know you are kidding. Donald Thomas is the one who has possibly broken the law. why would we even consider being sympathetic toward him.
      HE NEEDS TO GO...we don't know why he on administrative leave. YEt the reputation that he has is enough to request his resignation. He is not respected as a leader of integrity and empowerment. He appears to be self serving and power hungry.
      He has gone passed his "sell by Date" it is time for the sake of the confidence and integrity of the hospital for him to simply leave. Not withstanding the allegation that if he continues unfettered he may be leaving the BHB exposed.

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