Judge: Settle nursing impasse

A HIGH COURT judge is advocating a speedy resolution to the impasse currently facing the Nursing Council since the registration of nurses and the holding of examinations can be affected.

On Monday, Justice Frank Seepersad urged the Health Minister to make his six appointments to the council expeditiously so that there can be a legitimate quorum in order to protect and preserve the position of nurses who were registered after the life of the council’s executive came to an end in April. He also issued an interim order that the minister’s appointments was not contingent upon the election of the nine members from the other representative bodies, paving the way for the six appointments to be made as soon as possible.

Without a legitimate quorum of the council, nurses cannot be registered and nursing examinations cannot be held.

Seepersad also said once there was a lawful quorum then the issue the registration of nurses from April can be revisited and validated.

Already, the Minister of Health is prepared to take six names to Cabinet for his appointments to the council can be made.

At Monday’s hearing, the judge varied his previous order to allow for the TT Registered Nurses Association, the TT Association of Midwives and the Psychiatric Nurses Association of TT to be joined as interested parties in the lawsuit which was brought by ousted president of the Nursing Council David Murphy.

He also ordered that the council’s registrar issue an advertisement inviting anyone affected by any decision made by the council from April 14 to September 12, to attend the next hearing on October 7, and make any application they consider appropriate.

Seepersad has also ordered that in the interim, no action can be taken on behalf of the council by any member who form part of the former council and whose term of appointment ended.

Last week, the judge granted Murphy an injunction which restrained interim president Chris Craigwell from making any decisions on behalf of the council.

Murphy was granted leave to have the court review the decision by the council to appoint the interim president.

Two weekends ago, the council posted two press advertisements indicating that at its 807th ordinary meeting, Chris Craigwell was elected interim president until the end of the election process.

Elections are expected in January. Murphy is represented by attorneys Gerald Ramdeen, Umesh Maharaj and Dayadai Harripaul. Attorney Elaine Greene appears for the Nursing Council while attorney Martin George represents the other nursing bodies.

 

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