BVI News

Gov’t gets resistance in renaming hospital in honour of Premier

Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton and government leader Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

The NDP government’s motion to rename Peeble’s Hospital in honour of Premier Dr D Orlando Smith was met with resistance from Ronnie Skelton and members of the parliamentary opposition on Tuesday.

According to the motion that was specifically put forward by Health Minister Marlon Penn, Cabinet had approved Dr Smith’s selection based on recommendations from an unspecified hospital renaming committee last year.

Skelton, who seemingly instigated Tuesday’s resistance, insisted that he needed to see the report from the said committee as well as the document from Cabinet’s deliberations on the matter.

Speaker of the House Ingrid Moses Scatliffe, however, denied Skelton’s request and reminded him that he was still a member of Cabinet when the decision to approve Dr Smith as the honouree was made.

I support renaming, procedures just wrong 

Skelton then said he agreed that the hospital should be renamed in honour of Premier Smith but noted that his resistance was effectively one of principle and procedural correctness.

“Let’s say I leave that (the document from Cabinet) aside. The report [from the selection committee] cannot be a secret. The report should be a document that we all can see.”

Referring to Dr Smith, Skelton then said: “Here is someone who has made great contributions to the healthcare system and there are people with questions and we need not make it look like we’re doing something wrong. We need to just shed some light on why we’re doing what we’re doing. That’s all I’m asking.”

Skelton, who is the leader of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), received support from his fellow party members Archibald Christian and Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull.  Turnbull, for example, argued that Premier Smith should be honoured in the ‘right way’ and “not just rush” to have the hospital named in his honour.

Turnbull along with Skelton and Christian were members of the NDP government up to recently.

Put politics aside

According to parliamentary regulations, the Minister of Health has the authority to move any motion to dedicate the name of public health facilities in honour of community stalwarts who have contributed significantly to the BVI health sector. But, while doing so, the minister (Penn) must outline reasons why such a stalwart should be honoured.

Considering that he satisfied the requirements of the typical procedure when moving a motion, Penn accused Skelton and other members of the PVIM opposition of resisting the motion as a political play.

Penn, who took over the health portfolio from Skelton, took a shot at the PVIM leader’s efficiency while he was Health Minister.

“This is a process [to select a honouree] started in October 2016. How long does it take you to go through that process? If I was there it would have been done in six weeks; maybe six days too. The man (Dr Smith) has made his contributions to his territory and he should be recognised. Put politics aside,” Penn said.

The motion will return before the House of Assembly later today, January 23.

Last-minute motion being introduced to rename Peebles in honour of Premier Smith

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  1. Real Talk says:

    The idea is great, but the way you are going about doing it is not right.

    Like 16
    Dislike 19
  2. Dr Seus says:

    The Economist noted that our hospital was an example of our Premier’s and the NDP’s “fiscal mismanagement and corruption.”

    Our Premier and his party have destroyed our country. Raw sewage is running through our streets. Our dump is on fire. Our schools are damaged. Our ports our damaged. Our roads are damaged. No new businesses have been created in the last 8 years and those that survive are struggling.

    Wake up people. The rest of the world sees it. It’s time to leave this chapter behind us and move forward. Let’s save the statues and the building dedications for those who have actually helped us.

    Like 39
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    • RT says:

      You are so right. And, the government is ripping off hard working people. By forcing them to pay for everyone’s health care. Government does NOT belong in the insurance business.

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  3. Enlighten says:

    What have mr smith done for the BVI to get such honor.
    It a sincere question . I don’t know that’s why I’m asking .

    Like 35
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    • Anon says:

      Good afternoon, I take a few minutes to address your sincere questions..
      Dr. Smith was at one point the only surgeon in the hospital. He worked 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. He was always on call and he never refused to answer any of those calls. He worked in all places of the hospital.. he was general practitioner, surgeon, obstetrics and gynecologist, he administered chemo therapy to patients who had cancer, paediatrician, he was the Chief Medical Officer, the administrator of the hospital, he also dispensed medicines. I can remember one time when during surgery Dr. Smith was coming out of the operating theatre between cases to interview applicants. Not minimizing the contributions and sacrifice of others. I acknowledge all. Major Peebles did contribute so I would vote for leaving that name for the hospital and dedicating a wing after Dr. smith and others. We will only have one government hospital and the glory should be shared. What we have now was build on the hard work and contribution of many.

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      • @Anon says:

        I remember when Doc was my Doctor and my Grandmother Doctor.

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      • CGB Resident says:

        He should have stayed a Dr. And stayed out of politics they do not go,arm in arm

        Like 20
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      • I say Road Town clinic says:

        Ok? Then name the ROAD TOWN CLINIC AFTER HIM. How the h**l you going rename something that’s already named after someone of SIGNIFICANCE?!
        So we give people their jacket and when they dead and gone take it back? SET OF UNGRATEFUL PEOPLE

    • Kung Fu says:

      And tell me where in the UK you can find the name of any Virgin Islander on any Edifice. Until the UK can do that for us, remove every blasted one of their names from any building and place in this Territory, Queen Elizabeth II the first one to come down, followed by Sir Francis Drake. Our people must be first in their country. Dr. Smith is well deserving. So let it be.

      Dislike 20
      • Kungfewsed says:

        You really think that Sir Francis Drake came down here to visit us in the BVI following the Queen’s visit in the 1960’s?

        Man, what ever you been smoking ain’t local or legal.

        Like 6
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      • @kung fu says:

        You have to remember it was never your country…you were brought here…don’t show your ignorance!

  4. Worried says:

    Seemingly this young man was named health minister for this purpose..No problem in naming a wing or ward after the good gentleman. The whole building,no. What about those nurses who gave their service untiringly. They worked in the hospital more than this doctor, plus when he visited the hospital they had to work with him. To name a few, Carmilita Vanterpool O,Neal , Geraldine Norman, Tatica Scatliffe. When will something be named for The Honorable Ralph T. O,Neal? Cut out the politics and come with honesty and integrity.

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  5. Longshanks says:

    Doesn’t it have a name? Did the previous recipient cease to be worthy?

    Can the next administration rename it after someone else?

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  6. ndp heckler says:

    The NDP got away with the high school last time but not this time around

    Like 30
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  7. Not2Sure says:

    I just cannot believe that with all the serious problems facing the country THIS is what the politicians want to spend all their time squabbling about.

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  8. Diaspora says:

    At this 11th hour, what should have been perhaps a well-deserved honour is shrouded in politics. In real estate, it is about location, location and location; in politics, it is about timing, timing and timing; in politics also, experience and political savvy matters. Neither of the two are on display here.

    The timing could not be worse. Is the NDP acting like it will not be re-elected? The flurry of activities , ie, pushing major projects, appointments to board, naming facilities……..etc makes one go hmmmm. The NDP has reached the bitter end for this term so it should leave unfinished projects for the next term (?).

    Renaming Peebles after Dr. Hon Premier D. Orlando Smith (AL) is not an emergency so why muck it with amateurish politics? This should have been a non-partisan issue that is now entangled in politics. The reality is if the NDP was riding the crest of the wave, things would be diffrent but it is not. This initiative is being sacrificed on the altar of partisan politics. It is an unnecessary sacrifice. The sun is high in the sky so let sunshine shine through by laying all documents on the table. Why the unnecessary secrecy?

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  9. Blah says:

    This was not on the manifesto in 2011 or 2015 but it is now deemed so urgent that we need to expedite it at the last minute while promises made 8 years ago remain unfulfilled. Thank you NDP we see your priorities.

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  10. Seriously says:

    Why not name the missing plane after him and be done with it…

    Like 46
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    • Shocking says:

      What about the consumer protection law and whistleblower act. Were any of these were on their manifesto. If so they need to bring them to the house and STFU. Do the people’s work.

      Like 26
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      • Never forget- Orlando Air says:

        We need that whistleblower act. No more corruption. No more fiscal mismanagement.

        The widtleblower act is our ticket out of the third work!

        Hello Sunshine!

        Like 13
    • Soothsayer says:

      Everyone knows that this is wrong but the ‘honorables’ vote for it all the same. Honour, integrity and decency departed a longtime ago.

      Like 17
  11. Devon says:

    As others have said… why are they even discussing this issue now ? Aren’t there other priorities that need to be sorted in the HOA ?

    Like 24
  12. Ausar says:

    The “I”‘s had it!

    It is a finale!

    The D. Orlando Smith Hospital!!

    Luv it!

    Thank you, to all of those within the House of Assembly for bestowing such an honour to this revered native son!

    Like 2
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  13. hmm says:

    If it was so important to NDP they should have done it on either the first time or the 2nd time money was spent on the sign on that building.

    This just seem like a rush with a hidden agenda. I say give him a wing.

    Like 18
  14. Bemused says:

    … what is wrong in calling it “Peebles Hospital” …?.?.?

    Like 28
    • U serious? says:

      Who the h**l is Major Peebles over our son, Dr. Smith, eh? Tell Peebles and those who came in the name of King or Queen “it’s our people’s time.” Haven’t they taken enough from us without compensation? Go long, Peebles.

      Dislike 16
  15. Eagle eye says:

    Can’t believe they wasting time on this now.I am voting for all new politicians.we have to find better.

    Like 25
  16. *Hmm says:

    SMFH….everybody want they name on something strups. I will settle for a wing or something name off him but the whole facility?? HELL TO NO!!! The name PEEBLES HOSPITAL have a hell of a lot more significance & history than what these jokers proposing. Absolute nonsense!

    Like 17
  17. F in Class says:

    Because you got a F in history and Virgin Islands Studies why you believe Peebles deserves more than Smith. Once upon a time, *Hmm, not today. Doc Smith it will be. Get used to it.

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    • @ F in class says:

      Last time I checked when Peebles was started Smith was nowhere around so might I suggest you take your @ss to the back of the class & stay there. I hope you are that passionate about the same man p*****g away the country’s finances as you are to the hospital’s renaming of him. Is no wonder we in the $h*t we in

  18. Anegadain says:

    What about Dr. Robin Tattersall? No one has mentioned him. I remember back in the day when transportation wasn’t like it is today and he had to sail his own sloop to the outer islands to check on people. Especially when the old Saint Ursula wasn’t working.

  19. GWEN says:

    give Dr. Smith the honor that is due to him I have worked with him as a nurse many years ago, and he was the best. I remember when Dr. Smith, Dr, Tattersal and Dr. Osborne were the only doctors in the territory.

    of course, a man has no honor in his own country.

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