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June 22, 2018
Come to me with your grievances about Government services – PM Gonsalves

Persons with grievances about the services offered by the government are asked to report the matter to the Prime Minister’s office at 456-1703.

“…I am asking you do to it…you wouldn’t get to talk to me, but leave a message tell me what is the problem, where it is…,” Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said on Thursday, June 14 at a press conference broadcast live on radio and the Internet.

Gonsalves was speaking specifically about police officers, caretakers in the ‘Home Help for the Elderly’ programme and government pharmacists.

“…Don’t be afraid to complain or leave your name and number at my office. It will be kept confidential so that I can call you back if needed. We are paying too much money in salaries,” Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister disclosed that he has asked the Social Welfare Department to do a “fair review of the home helpers, where persons are not doing their work…they must find other forms of work.”

He said these workers cannot turn up to work late when elderly persons depend on them; or when they do turn up, they take a seat and look at television.

“That’s not what you are hired to do, your job description is clear — ‘home helper for the elderly’…,” said Gonsalves, adding that some home helpers even eat the food of the persons in their care.

Similarly, the Prime Minister asked the public to report pharmacists who do not turn up for work or only turn up for a short period of time.

“I am asking the permanent secretaries to write up these people, send their names to the Public Service Commission and let disciplinary action flow,” he stated.

“Every five years I have to go to the people. The people have to mark my exam and if they are not satisfied with the work…they will kick me out of office whether in my constituency or nationally, and nobody is immune from assessment,” Gonsalves said.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves

He said that persons with diabetes and hypertension rely on their medication and must always be able to get it.

“…They got the last [tablet] and you are supposed to turn up at the clinic and you don’t turn up, what you want them to do, go into a coma? You have no conscience?

“Do the same thing with policemen and women who giving you the false information that they have no transportation [to respond to calls from the public],” advised Gonsalves who noted that complaining on radio and in public, rather than to him, will not bring about a solution.

He said while he cannot fire or discipline anyone, once he has the information he can go to the relevant authorities to seek improvement.