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Dr Bernard Valentin new PS for health

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Apart from thanking Mrs Vidot for her long and loyal service to the Ministry of Health, Mr Faure presented her with a token of appreciation.

• VP grateful to outgoing PS

The Office of the President has announced the appointment of Dr Bernard Valentin as the new principal secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, as from March 16, 2016.

Dr Valentin will replace Peggy Vidot, the current PS for health, who has expressed her wish to retire upon completion of her present contract which ends on March 15, 2016.

In expressing his heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the work done by Mrs Vidot, President James Michel has described her as a dedicated professional who has made an important contribution to the development of health care in Seychelles, in particular in the reforms and modernisation that have taken place during her period as PS.

Bernard-Valentin

Dr Bernard Valentin

Currently the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Valentin has on his side served in other senior management positions in the Ministry of Health, including the posts of special advisor and PS, at various times between 2006 and 2013.

Meanwhile Vice-President Danny Faure has met Mrs Vidot as part of his customary meetings with retiring long serving civil servants to thank them for their contribution to the country’s development.

Following the meeting, Mrs Vidot, who started working for the ministry as a nurse since the tender age of 18, refuted allegations that she was leaving due to discontentment within the service, stating that her retirement was even one year overdue.

“Definitely I am not leaving as a result of discontentment. I attained retirement age last year but I decided to remain for one more year. I think that it is now time to retire,” she said.

She went on to reveal that she will not be definitely leaving the Seychelles Hospital as she will continue to make herself available as a health consultant.

“I have many plans on a personal as well as professional level. I want to give more to myself, my family and also to the community. However, if there is anything I can contribute as a health consultant, I will,” she affirmed.

Rather than feeling discontented, the experienced nurse and health administrator who has also worked many years for the Commonwealth feels that much were achieved during the three years that she has served as PS. This goes from the promotion of health in Seychelles in terms of education, service and management as well as a better structure aiming at offering better health service for Seychelles.

She added that the local health system has since 2013 been going through a modernisation process whereby a proper structure has been put into place, with each service having its specific role.

“If we all do what we have to do and in the way we have to do, we will make it,” a confident Mrs Vidot philosophised.

As other concrete achievements, she stated that the country has remained free from deadly epidermises which have hit the world lately. Those include SARS, EBOLA, H1N1 and ZICA.

“These results do not come automatically,” she went on to insist, adding that “much effort has been made for those diseases not to enter the country”.

What have been the challenges faced then? The health professional puts clientele expectations at the top of the list, explaining that expectations vary according to the individual. This is how she illustrates the situation:

“Going to the clinic is not like going to the bank or paying PUC bills. Ten minutes spent waiting for a doctor is many more than ten minutes spent elsewhere. This is because the person is in immediate need of care.”

The seasoned nurse and health administrator however feels that the public is sometimes not fair and is rather too hard done towards health workers.

“All health workers have to be valorised as they work in difficult conditions which demand time and compassion. More than a hundred patients visit our services each day. We do not hear much from those who are satisfied,” she insisted.

At the same time, she agrees it is necessary for those who are not satisfied to say so. Though feeling that, they are sometimes too quick to criticise people whom she says “feel, but keep their compassion in their hearts”.

For the future, Mrs Vidot who goes into retirement as of the 15th of this month, feels that there is still room for improvement and would like to see more progress and a better health care system. On this note, the outgoing PS announced that government is working on a Health Infrastructure Master Plan which will be ready by July this year. This, she said, will improve patient flow to and from the different health services.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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