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TG questions plans to ‘localise’ Public Health Director role

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

Together Gibraltar has said it understands the person taking over the post of Director of Public Health for next 11 months is not a local individual. 

Last week the Gibraltar Government announced its medium-term plan was to localise the post after not renewing Dr Sohail Bhatti’s contract.

The Government presented a motion last week conferring Dr Bhatti the Medallion of Honour, with the Chief Minister describing him as a close personal friend and praising his performance throughout the pandemic. 

But TG questioned “if the Government considers Dr Bhatti to be worthy of such praise and accolades, then why it did not extend the contract for 11 months?”

“Why did it try to justify his non-renewal by saying they wanted to localise the post while employing a non local? The Government’s explanation for the non renewal of Dr Bhatti’s contract is simply not credible and needs to be explained further.”

“The government has a duty of transparency, particularly at a time in which cases are on the rise. It is worth noting that Dr Bhatti himself expressed a desire to remain in post.”

Party leader Marlene Hassan Nahon said she felt vindicated for having abstained on voting on the motion to grant Dr Bhatti’s Medallion of Honour in light of the above.

TG added she is the only Parliamentarian to have raised questions as to why Dr Bhatti has been publically recognised while at the same time being removed from his post.

“There are too many contradictions and incongruences in this story that require explanation,” TG said.

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