Hospital stable says pastor

| 04/03/2009

(CNS): Announcing that Lizzette Yearwood had been confirmed to the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Health Services Authority (HSA) after more than two years of her acting in the role, Pastor Al Ebanks, Chairman of the HSA Board said the Authority was enjoying a period of real stability under her tenure. He also noted that after a great deal of work, the hospital and its finances were finally on track despite the ongoing challenges.

He said thatthings had come a very long way from when he took over the chairmanship of the board in 2005 when there were almost daily headlines reporting chaos, instability, rapid staff turnover, a loss of public confidence and low staff morale at the hospital. Today, however, significant strides had been made in many areas, he said. Above all, that the HSA’s financial situation had improved in terms of accounting as well as better management and spending.

The chairman praised Yearwood for her contribution to the improvement of the HSA and noted that she had brought strong, capable, compassionate and stable leadership to the hospital. “Along with her track record of accomplishments, in the circumstances the board believed it was the right and reasonable thing to do and agreed to confirm her to the post as Chief Executive Officer of the Health Services Authority; an appointment which has also been endorsed by the Minister of Health,” Ebanks added.

Acknowledging the problems that the HSA had faced over the last few years, he explained that restoring fiscal prudence in the authority’s financial management was a significant priority for the board. He said that when he took over, the magnitude of the problems at the time were aptly described by the auditor general, who had said; “Had this been a business, we would have filed for bankruptcy long ago.”

In the years since, through effective board management and oversight, we have been able to turn-around the finances of organization and are now providing timely financial reports to the auditor general and maintain compliance with the reporting regulations of the Public Management Finance Law,” Ebanks stated.

After being cited as a delinquent authority in the auditor general’s report last year into government accounting (State of Financial Accountability Reporting), Ebanks said that the authority had now submitted the accounting information to the AG for all of the outstanding years and was up to date with its financial reporting.

Auditor General Dan Duguay confirmed that he had received the information from the HSA up to the financial year 07/08 and his office had already completed the audit on year 05/06 and would finish the audit of 06/07 very soon. Although Duguay noted that the HSA probably still had more to do as each year’s accounts cannot be considered complete until the previous year’s audit is done, he said the hospital had made great strides. “I think it is great that the HSA has managed to catch up so quickly, it is a very encouraging sign,” said Duguay. “We are going to continue working with them now to get everything completed and I think it is fair to say they have made a tremendous effort.”

Ebanks and Yearwood both noted that the main challenges the HSA faced now were issues of collections for the services the hospital provides and the impact of a global economic downturn. While the hospital had managed to reduce its operating loss in the last couple of years through better management, the pressures on the service would now be greater and they both expected that toincrease again.

Whilst we have been prudent in our financial management, like most other business entities we are increasingly challenged by the current global economic recession and resulting workforce reductions in the Cayman Islands which is already evident in declining revenues; increases  in the number of persons being unable to pay for healthcare services; tightening of credit arrangements by suppliers which depletes our cash reserve and requires upfront payment for goods and services,” Ebanks said.

Yearwood noted that as the primary care provider the HSA had to treat first and collect later and that was not always easy to do. She also noted that while it was a goal that everyone had health coverage. Some 20% of the population have no health insurance at all, and of those that do many have only a basic standard health care plan, which she and the pastor agreed was inadequate in terms of real coverage. “The basic plan offers only $100 of outpatient care and as everyone can appreciate that does not go very far,” Yearwood said.

The financial support the HSA receives from government is also crucial to maintaining high quality patient care and Ebanks said that both the board and hospital management had impressed upon the government the need not to cut the money.

The board is already actively reviewing all aspects of our operations to ensure that the quality of patient care is not impacted and we have been in discussions with the ministry regarding the evidence and research that has shown funding for healthcare cannot be sacrificed in times of economic crisis. We are confident that the government will take the necessary action, and even amidst the prevailing difficult economic situation provide the required funding to ensure safe and quality patient care to the people of these islands,” he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is this why Pastor Al wants government hospital to be able to discriminate? so he can help hospital turn away and not treat gays?! OMG it makes sense now! Because Pastor Al is Chairman of Hospital Board.



  2. mdu says:

    I have worked with Lizzette when she was a Paediatric Nurse and still as the CEO and I can honestly say that when we recieved the news that she was FINALLY heart swelled with pride..I know she will CONTINUE to do a great job and has the hospital, the people that work here and the CAYMAN ISLANDS at heart..great work Lizzette…well done!

    Looking forward to many more years under your guidence and leadership!

  3. Twyla M Vargas says:


    I know where you are comming from, and you are a very good person who deserves your position.

    To Pastor Al, becareful you do not stray too far  away from the Church principles.   This can happen to a pastor getting too much involved with things of the world.   You will loose your spiritual feelings, and become like everyone else.   is it worth it?

    You would not want to gain the world and loose your soul.  Blessed.

  4. Scotty says:

    From one Cayman Bracker to another, a million grats to Lizzette!! You are an inspiration to the upcoming youth. Keep up the good work!

  5. Anonymous says:

    CONGRATS LIZETTE! Another BRACKER done us PROUD!!!!:)

  6. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Congratulations Ms. Yearwood!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Given the dismal history of CEOs of the HSA I would have to say that Lizzette Yearwood is the bravest woman in the Cayman Islands.

    I would have preferred to see Pastor Al spend more time sorting out the HSA and less time mucking around the Bill of Rights.

    • Anonymous says:

      "I would have preferred to see Pastor Al spend more time sorting out the HSA and less time mucking around the Bill of Rights".

      Why? He is a great at multi-tasking. One of my favourite people. 

      Congrats, Ms.Yearwood! 

  8. Anonymous says: