Miller: “I can sit on board”

| 09/06/2009

(CNS): In the wake of criticisms by Pastor Al Ebanks, the current chair of the Health Services Authority Board, that Ezzard Miller cannot sit on it as it conflicts with legislation, the newly elected member for North Side has said there is no legislation to stop him and he is considerably more qualified to do so than the pastor. Miller stated that the new Health Authority Law passed by the PPM in 2009 clearly states that only public officials employed by the ministry or the HSA are barred from the board and the Constitution does not define an MLA as a public official.

Speaking on this morning’s edition of Crosstalk on Rooster, Miller said that there was nothing in the law to prevent him from sitting on the board. “There are only two categories of persons not allowed to sit on the board according to the new law,” he said, explaining that it was employees of the Health Ministry or the HSA, and the Constitution does not consider MLAs to be public officials.

Miller said that the law was based on recommendations he had made to the ministry in 2007 to bring relevant experience of management to the board. 

He also referred to the recommendations made by Sir Richard Tucker in the wake of the Charles Clifford enquiry, which the governor had reportedly adopted, that politicians should not sit on boards. However, Miller said there is nothing in any law that enshrines this.

“If it was adopted as policy in the last Cabinet that MLAs can sit on boards, it certainly has not been implemented in the law,” Miller said. “In short, there is no conflict that I can find in law that
prevents me from sitting on the board."

Miller also said he was far more qualified than Pastor Al for the role. “When it comes to knowledge of health care, Pastor Al cannot claim to have as much experience as me,” he added

The former Health Minister told Rooster listeners that Pastor Al’s accusation of ‘cross breeding’, as he had called it, was a bit much given that the board currently had numerous members who were members of the hospital staff. He said that Pastor Al also sat as chair on the board of CINICO, the HSA’s biggest client, which he said offered an opportunity for the two boards to cover each other.   

Miller, however, admitted that he had not been formally requested to sit yet and said he was not advocating that he was only person who could chair the board. But given that the new government had asked him to help with the Health Ministry because of his experience, he said the only way he could do that would be as chair of the HSA.

He said the important thing was to improve the situation at the HSA. “I know from recent experience that not everything that could be done is being done at present to address the problems in the HSA,” he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a joke this guy is.  First he gets on Rooster blowing smoke that he is the only person qualified and experienced enough to save the HSA from the mess that it is in.  He sounded so convincing that a number of good folks called in to support his claims.  

    Then two days later we hear the truth from Pastor Al and Canover Watson that the mess in the HSA occurred between 2002-2005 when Ezzard was an active member of the then governing UDP party.  Pastor Al’s Board spent two hard years cleaning up that mess and are now finally moving forward in a positive direction with a fully staffed HSA Management headed by a qualified Caymanian woman.  And all of this occured during the tenure of the "unqualified" Board Chairman and "incompetent" PPM government.  The current Board has also actively engaged Ezzard as a consultant and many of his recommendations are being implemented.  Makes you wonder what his true motives are for wanting this position so badly and trying to discredit Pastor Al?  Then on top of everything else the ministry comes out on Friday stating that Ezzard has never been officially offered the HSA Board Chairman position.  Sounds like Mac et al are trying to back-track and leaving Ezzard out in the cold…again!

    To Austin and Joey – Excellent approach with giving the Cayman Islands both sides of the story.  Please keep that up. 

    To CNS – You carried Ezzard’s claims on Tuesday but I did not see a follow-up story on the HSA Board’s appearance on the show rebutting most of what Ezzard had to say including his claim that there is no conflict with him sitting on the Board.  Please stop that.

    • Anon says:

      It underminded Mr. Scotland to say that he was not the first choice for Health Minister.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wrong on more than a technicality. I would support Mr. Miller as either an MLA or as Chair of the HSA but not both at the same time.

    The boards of statutory authorities are supposed to provide oversight that is independant of government. Without that role they are only a very expensive mechanism for creating plausable denyability for politicians when things go wrong.

    The Constitution specifically says that for the purposes of the Constitutional document itself no person is a public officer solely because they are an MLA. This definition is very narrow on purpose. There was no intention that this defintion should apply for all purposes and across all legislation. That is why the limitation is put in the Constitutional language. 

    On that basis, Mr. Miller’s assertion that there is no legal impediment to him taking on the HSA Chairmanship is questionable at best. Even if there is no legal impediment there is a moral and ethical one.

    I am getting very concerned about our politicians trying to gloss over the rule of law, our Constitution, and the separation of powers in our government in recent days. Perhaps we Caymanians have been too lenient and foregiving of our politicians in the past. I for one can say however that we younger Caymanians are not going to accept our politicians playing fast and loose with our Constitution, our laws and our institutions going forward.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations Mr. Miller on your election in North Side although I am dissapointed you did not accept the position as minister of health as I am convinced that only someone with the drive you have will have the fortitude to make the necesary changes needed at our hospital in order to reduce the financial hemmorageing that is costing this country so much money.

      I like Pastor Al and attend his church but I am somewhat dissapointed that he would feel it is his place to challange your appointment under the law as having read the relevant law and the constitution he is wrong in this regard.

      You are a case of the right Caymanian for the job who is well qualified with a masters degree in hospital adminstration as well as a trained pharmacist (the first one in the Cayman Islands, Donald McLean came many years after) and has worked at the hospital in your formative years.

      Keep your head up and if you are confirmed in the post, give us the work ethic you are known for. I wonder how many Caymanians would be so anti the new appointee if that person was imported from abroad like the previous hospital adminstrators who are now sueing the government.

      • Anonymous says:

        "I wonder how many Caymanians would be so anti the new appointee if that person was imported from abroad like the previous hospital adminstrators who are now sueing the government".

        All appointed by the previous UDP govt. at huge salaries.

      • Anonymous says:


        To congratulations Mr. Miller- are you sure he is a trained Pharmacist and are you sure Donald McLean is not the first Pharmacist? Please check with Mr. Miller on this one.

        • Anonymous says:

          Very enlightening discussion on Rooster this morning with Pastor Al and Canover Watson. It seems that the HSA established in 2002 by the then UDP Govt. never had financial statements at all (let alone audited ones) until Pastor Al took over in 2005. They are now up to date and have been submitted to the Auditor General for audit. 

          And here we had been left to believe that financial mismanagement only started in the past four years under the PPM. Only goes to show the UDP cannot necessarily be trusted in what they tell you.       

        • Clearviewer says:

          To congratulations,     are you just being a bad advocate here, if you want to know if Mr Miller is a trained pharmacist why dont you do what is best and ask him?  But here,  I can attest to that, he is a trained pharamicist.  Now you and the PPM can put that in your pipe and smoke it.

          • Anonymous says:


            To congratulations- how dear you call me a PPM or for that matter a UDP the last time I looked on my birth paper it states I AM A CAYMANIAN. I can also attest that he is not a trained Pharmicist, I already asked him now you go and ask him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    No matter how many qualifications someone has, that alone does not make them a great leader.  Quality health care at reasonable cost is a complex issue worldwide so why should the HSA be "immune".  The HSA needs someone at the helm with the technical knowledge to ensure the people of the Cayman Islands are getting good value for money, and someone who is able to motivate the employees to provide a high level of service, isn’t that really all we’re looking for?  In most great organizations that employee motivation usually comes from a leader that the employees want to emulate (do you want your nurse to emulate Ezzard Miller when you’re on your sick bed?) That stated, I have yet to have a bad experience at the HSA, especially in the last couple of years, so I’m not sure why this big outcry for a total overhaul except for political reasons.  How are these Boards ever going to make any progress if the core complement is removed every four years.  The HSA is losing money you say? Surprise, surprise when it is mandated to serve all persons in these islands regardless of their willingness or ability to pay! Perhaps the first thing that needs to happen is a lowering of the public’s expectations.  What would be interesting to know is how profitable/successful the HSA was under Ezzard’s last tenure if anyone has records that old available (National Archives??).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Once again we can see the ignorance of some of these postings probably done by our own Caymanians. If we aren’t beating up on the Government, the Oppistion or the Independent we now turn on Pastor Al whom I respect more than words can say. I did not hear all of the Rooster show this morning but the parts I did hear was Pastor Al clearly stating that he had no interest in remaining on the Board and he would happily step down early if asked to or remain until his term was finished.

    Mr. Miller is qualified to do the job and Pastor Al clearly said this morning that he was not more experienced than Mr. Miller. If I can recall I believe he also said that his first time on the Board he was appointed by Mr. Miller, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    And for the person who clearly states that Pastor Al mucked up the HSA why don’t you try to get appointed I’m sure you will do no better.

    Accounts are up to date but unaudited, Congratulations, there seems to be board who has done its job.

    Do you know where people like Mr. Miller should be…in the Planning Department shaking some leaves…because he has the guts to do so.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard is the most over rated person in Cayman.

  6. noname says:

    To poster #1: "The Governor in Cabinet" is the formal term given to the Ministers, not HE. However, HE is a part of the"Governor in Cabinet."


    Got it?

    • Anonymous says:

      "To poster #1: "The Governor in Cabinet" is the formal term given to the Ministers, not HE. However, HE is a part of the"Governor in Cabinet."

      You are teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. The point is that the Governor presides over any such decisions by Cabinet.  If this is contrary to the principles of good governance (for which HE is responsible) then it ought not to be  approved by him.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pastor Al needs to get back to his calling which is serving the spiritual needs of his flock and stay out of politics and the rest of it.

    I am sure he knows that the ego is a huge spirit destroyer.

  8. Anonymous says:

    At least Pastor Al was well intentioned, Ezzard is a Hazard.

    Staff morale, commitment and satisfaction were never as low as when he was Minister of Health, constantly berating and threatening employees during staff meetings.

    Also, his strong anti-expat beliefs do not lend themselves to good governance of an organization that has a large expat employee base.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is it true the UDP did not offer Mr. Miller the Chair of the HSA?

  10. noname says:

    Pastor Al don’t have to resign, his time is up in August and he will not be invited back, this is a blessing for him.

    We can only hope for the best at the HSA, it is always good to have a change.  I do not believe the new chairman needs to be a medical professional to improve the HSA. With all the problems they have had over the years, most were with finances, not medical services. Unfortunately Ezzard is not know for his business acumen.

    The board under Pastor Al did reduce the financial risks that the previous board, created and ignored. They actually found out how much was owed to them and who owed that money!. That is the main reason why most people are calling for Pastor Al to resign, not because of his inability to run a business but because he ran an effective board.  Before this board took over the HSA was run like a kitchen for numerous extended family members, perhaps that is what people like.

    In fact as soon as any board or manager starts to operate any Government Department, or Authority or Government Agency in a business like mannaer and improves their financial standing, those evil no gooders that have a VESTED INTEREST, always want to get rid of  them. The nasty statements posted here are not necessary. Now what is strange here is some people are blaming the PPM for implementng Ezzard’s 2007recommendations which have gone a long way to improving the HSA. How ironic it is for people to actually want Pastor Al to resign and Ezzard to take over!

    I am sure Mr. Miller brings certain strengths to the board but most of all he needs to call a spade a spade. Not necessarily will he be as successful as this board was. Time will tell!. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    I want Ezzard to be involved with the HSA as much as the next person but we have to take it easy on Pastor Al.

    If you listened to the Talk Show today he called in later on and said that he has no intention of staying on as the chairman of the HSA Board. So lets take it easy on one of our pastors.

    • Clearviewer says:

      I too beleive that Ezzard would be a great choice for the HSA,chair board, we need people that have the knowledge and experience to take this one on. However You all are making this a PPM/ UDP/ he said she said situation, we need to stop the bickering and get on with the business of running the country, HSA and all other  problems that we have at hand now.  Pastors/ Ministers, people of the clothshould not share anger and dislike, the should put their efforts where they are needed, in the communities.

    • Anonymous says:

      With all due respect to Pastor Al, I believe that men of the cloth should stay out of politics all together.  The fact that he has been so political makes people wonder about motives or if he is simply power hungry.  There a lots of better ways to influence or assist the public as a Pastor.  The alternative is to quit the ministry and go into politics.  I stopped going to his church for that reason.

  12. Robyn says:

    In my opinion a "Public Official" is one that is involved in Government Administration either by election, appointment or employment.  If a MLA is not  a ‘Public Official" then what the hell good are they and why should they be paid by the government.

    If the Constitution does not "define" MLA’s as public officials then I say we get rid of  them all including Mr Miller.

  13. pastor bucket says:

    what on earth are you people allowing men of the cloth to get involved with matters of health & science!

    Al speaks of the devil, the antichrist etc….i really want him on the board making decisions!

    my god these fools know nothing except manipulatiuon & brainwashing

    they get WAY too much editorial space & air time…bring on the enlightenment cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      These PPM board appointees sure are tough to get rid of.

      Someone needs to remind people like Pastor Al that even the good book says you should go – or stay – where you are not welcomed.


      • Anonymous says:

        "These PPM board appointees sure are tough to get rid of".

        Not nearly as tough as the UDP appointees on the ERA Board in 2005.

        • Anonymous says:

          To the poster that wrote: "Not nearly as tough as the UDP appointees on the ERA Board in 2005. " So I guess we need to blame Arden McLean solely for his nice deal with CUC that sent us all over the edge.  If Arden had not disbanded the UDP ERA board, all that CUC crap would not have happened.  I don’t even know how the PPM always claims McKeeva sold us out when Arden scr….d  us royally with his sweetheart deal to CUC.

          • Anonymous says:

            "I don’t even know how the PPM always claims McKeeva sold us out when Arden scr….d  us royally with his sweetheart deal to CUC".

            That is propaganda dished out at election time for the consumption of simple minds. The UDP leadership know that this is false. The problem is that their underlings actually believe their own propaganda. The deal with CUC is superior for the benefit of the consumer than the one negotiated by the UDP in 2004. The market certainly doesn’t think it is a sweetheart deal for CUC.  The stock price is gone from a high of US$11.95 a year ago to US$8.29 today. If you were right we would have seen it skyrocket instead.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Alden McLaughlin sat as Chairman of the Human Rights Committee until it suited him to leave. So I don’t understand what all the noise is about.

    If Pastor Al wants a job so bad, let him go back to preaching.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s high time that someone who knows what they are doing serves on board of HSA.  Everyone genuinely appreciates Pastor Al’s efforts but he cannot overlook Mr. Miller’s qualifications and expertise in this field.  That hospital needs a lot of help and the Pastor (God bless him) has mucked it up too many times.  Pastor Al, please pray and do the right thing and resign.  Nothing against you, but it is for the good of the country and too many problems have happened there under your watch.  Perhaps he can serve elsewhere like in social services to help Minister Adam.

    • Anonymous says:

      To its high time- I feel Pastor All did a great job while serving on the HSA Board and at least we know that with him as a Pastor everything was done within the law. You are right Mr. Miller does have the experience but does he have the qualifications. Come on Mr. Miller are you indeed Cayman First Pharmicist or was it Donald McLean. Tell the People of Cayman the truth and you know what that is, you said on the Show this morning that you are a man of Integrity as taught to you by your loving mother. So up hold that integrity and tell the truth.

      Well Done Pastor Al, God Bless.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller is right about what the HSA Law says, but that is not the end of the matter. What about the Clifford Commission of Enquiry Report recommendations accepted by the Governor? Board members are appointed by Governor in Cabinet. Will the Governor now reverse his earlier position (or make an exception to the rule) that MLAs should not serve on the boards of statutory authorities and government companies?  What about Mr. Miller’s own consultant report recommendations? I am sorry Mr. Miller but you are making a distinction without a difference when you seek to distinguish between a Minister and his Chief Officer on the one hand, and an MLA on the other, since in your case the function will clearly be to advise the Minister (who has zero qualifications and experience in this area) on policy.  

    Will we see the rules bent to accommodate the new govt.? Over to you, Your Excellency.


    • noname says:

      "since in your case the function will clearly be to advise the Minister(who has zero qualifications and experience in this area) on policy……"

      At least we have someone with experience to advise the Minister what experience did the pastor have?

      • Anonymous says:

        "At least we have someone with experience to advise the Minister what experience did the pastor have?"

        Even Mr. Miller acknowledges that Pastor Al has some experience. He’s done a fine job getting the HSA into a stable condition. He reported to a Minister with the necessary experience.

        Back to the real issue: the particular role he will play is why it is not appropriate to appoint Mr. Miller as Chairman.

        • Anonymous says:

          There are some very sensible and sensitive posts here about "the Miller Problem". No, of course he shouldn’t be on the Board but the last administration botched the HSA lawreview and didn’t take account of the very sound recommendations of the Clifford Enquiry about politicians etc on Boards, so technically I think Mr Miller is correct in assuming he can be on the Board-even chair it.

          The real "Miller Problem" will arise from him having to play second fiddle to Minister Mark-even report to him! Mr Miller plays second fiddle to no one. He is dismissive of Pastor Al’s and Anthony Eden’s (and, actually, everyone else’s, bless him) knowledge of health care compared to his own. But, arguably, these two accumulated far more experience than the unfortunate Mark Scotland (through no fault of his own). This situation is a schism in the making.