OMBUDS DAY 2020

OMBUDS DAY 2020

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands join with other countries around the world to observe Thursday, October 8th,2020 as national “Ombuds Day”. This year’s theme is ‘Unusual Name. Important Service.”

 

Ombudsman is a Swedish word which means “representative.” Sweden was the first country to appoint an independent official known as an Ombudsman to investigate complaints against government officials and Public Bodies.

Today ombudsman can be found all around the world, managing complaints in various sectors such as; Financial, Education, Public Service, Police, Construction Industry, Medical Services, Media and Consumer Services. 

 

Here in the Turks and Caicos Islands the Office of The Complaints Commission “Ombudsman” has been in existence since 1994. The primary function of the Ombudsman, also referred to as the Complaints Commissioner is to promote good governance within the Turks and Caicos Islands by managing maladministration within the public service.

 

The Complaints Commissioner is responsible for investigating complaints against government departments or statutory bodies made by members of the general public. It is the Commissioner’s duty along with the assistance of the investigative team to conduct all investigations in confidence, independently and with transparency.  Based on the Commissioner’s findings, he must resolve the conflict or concerns raised by making a recommendation in writing to government departments or the general public

 

The question is “how does the ombudsman make a difference in Turks and Caicos Islands?"

 The Office of the Complaints Commission is an independent and impartial body which ensure that good governance is upheld within Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) .

  1. Consultation, advice and representation are free, i.e. no cost to the public for our service.
  2. All complaints are managed with strict confidentiality.
  3. Once all appeals processes have been exhausted within TCIG, and there is still no resolution due to maladministration, a member(s) of the general public can complain to the Complaints Commissioner’s Office. 
  4.  Here are a few areas of maladministration we can address;
  • Unreasonable delay in dealing with any request or application.
  • Abuse of power or authority.
  • Flawed procedures.
  • Failing to give reasons for decisions.
  • Lack of consideration for a person affected by any action.
  • Acting with bias, unfairness and neglect.
  • Making decisions based wholly or partly on a mistake of law or fact.
  • Failing to follow through on commitments made. 

 

Listed above are just a few ways how the Office of the Complaints Commission continues to make a difference in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

ENDS

“Breast in the Spotlight”

 

BEGINS

 

Breast Cancer Month Turks and Caicos Islands 2020

 

“Breast in the Spotlight”

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands joins countries worldwide in observing Breast Cancer Awareness month during the month of October. During the month there is increased attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

 

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year. Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide in both developed and developing countries. Therefore, raising awareness and understanding about breast cancer risks, early signs and symptoms and overall breast health is an important part of our public health approach. Most deaths occur due to late diagnosis.

 

Over the past five (5) years in the Turks and Caicos Islands there has been a significant increase in the number of breast cancer diagnoses totaling 122. This figure includes both males and females. From January 2020 to September 2020 there have been 7 newly diagnosed cases, this figure represents only females. The most affected age group among women is 45- 65 years of age.

 

The Minister of Health the Hon Edwin Astwood weighed in on the current situation and stated “I encourage every woman to know their body and know the risk factors associated with breast cancer. It is important for women to carry out breast self-examinations no matter what age you are. My Government is committed to reducing the burden of cancer and in particular breast cancer within our country”.

 

Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women.(https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/young_women/bringyourbrave/breast_cancer_young_women/)

  • Know the symptoms- They are different in each persons and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include—
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood)
  • A new lump in the breast or underarm
  • If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.

 

The Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit stated “I really would like for persons to understand that breast cancer can happen to anyone. It is paramount that early detection of the condition happens for all women regardless of their background. The activities planned I hope will be able to bring about awareness for early cancer detection not only among women but among the men as well”.

 

Activities for breast cancer awareness month are as follows: -

  • Breast in the Spotlight Symposium 12th October at 6pm – Panelist Dr. Dingle Spence Oncologist, Jamaica, Latoya Silvera Oncology Nurse TCI Hospital, Mrs. Lakeisha Wilson Nutritionist Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Department, Mrs. Keish Bowla-Hines, Clinical Psychologist, Jamaica, and Michelle Simmons a Survivor. This event will take place on the TCI Health Promotion and Advocacy Facebook  “Live”.

 

  • On  26th October at 6 pm join us for our “Walk in Place” session with Ryesha Higgs on Facebook Live.

 

  • On October 29th join us for the live judging of Government Ministries for the best decorated door or hallway in observance of Breast Cancer Month. Be a part of the Facebook poll. Vote for your favorite décor.

 

The Minister of Health, Agriculture Sports and Human Services encourages all women to know the facts and take action.

 

For more information, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 338 2772. Visit our Facebook page and join the activities on TCI Health Promotion and Advocacy

 

ENDS

TCI Observes World Mental Health Day 

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PRESS RELEASE

 

TCI Observes World Mental Health Day 

               

With nearly 30 years since the inception of World Mental Health Day, The Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence (DMHSD) in the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services is ecstatic to recognize it, on this October 10th,2020 along with a week of activities also marking Children’s Mental Health Week (CMHW). Despite mental health awareness already being at the forefront of the department’s initiatives, this day, provides an occasion for the spotlight to be placed on selected aspects of mental health.

 

Covid-19 has placed a strain on the resilience of many persons around the world, this is evidenced by an increased demand for mental health services and personnel globally. In recognition of the unprecedented challenges which the Covid-19 outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can impose, The Department of Mental Health & Substance Dependence, has adapted and initiated numerous support avenues for persons struggling with their mental health during this pandemic. With a heavier reliance on telehealth and increased social media coverage, accessing support has been made easier and continues to be free of cost. This is in accordance with the World Health Organization’s initiatives highlighting the needs of vulnerable populations such as youth, elderly, students, frontline staff and those facing financial hardships.

 

Operating under the theme ‘Greater Investment, Greater Access’, your local Mental Health and Substance Dependence team has prepared an action packed week of activities in hopes of alleviating associated stress and promoting coping mechanisms as increased investment in your mental health is our utmost concern. Numerous virtual activities have been organized from October 5th to 9th as we once again celebrate World Mental Health Day and Children’s Mental Health Week in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

As part of this year’s observance, the Department will be conducting the following activities:

  • Monday October 5th
    #MindfulnessMonday: Guided Relaxation Exercise
    12pm on Zoom. ID: 9066553692 Password:210626  (link will be advertised on www.facebook.com/TCIDMHSD)

Health Matters: CMHW, Coping Skills & Building Resiliency

7pm (with repeat on Tue. Oct. 6th at 10am)

 

  • Tuesday October 6th
    #TalentedTuesday:  Live Music & Dance with DJ Taylo Hype

7pm on www.facebook.com/TCIDMHSD & www.facebook.com/TCITaylorHype/ 

  • Wednesday October 7th
    #HealthybodyHealthyMind: Yoga & Flexibility Exercise
    12pm on Zoom ID: 9066553692 Password:210626  (link will be advertised on www.facebook.com/TCIDMHSD)

 

  • Thursday October 8th
    #LittlekidsBigfeelings:  Live Story Time & Discussion
    12pm on Zoom ID: 9066553692 Password:210626   www.facebook.com/TCIDMHSD)

 

  • Friday October 9th
    #MentalHealthSymposium: General public
    10.30am on Zoom ID: 9066553692 Password:210626   (link will be advertised on www.facebook.com/TCIDMHSD)

 

The community is therefore encouraged to support these events. 

 

For further information on World Mental Health Day, kindly contact the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department at: 338-3613 in Grand Turk, or 338-4737 in Providenciales or visit www.facebook.com/TCIDMHSD or https://www.gov.tc/dmhsd/

               

ENDS    

Consultation on Petroleum (Exploration & Exploitation) Bill 2020

BEGINS

 

Press Release

 

Consultation on Petroleum (Exploration & Exploitation) Bill 2020

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Utilities & Transport, Department of Energy & Utilities is pleased to announce a two-week on-line consultation commencing today 1st October to 14th October, 2020 on the newly established Petroleum (Exploration & Exploitation) Bill 2020.

 

With increase interests shown by developers on procedures for acquiring permission &/or licensing to conduct reconnaissance testing and analysis for possible petroleum deposits in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) over the years, and given the absence of relevant policies and legislation related to permitting and licensing for the assessment, exploration, extraction and production of petroleum; in the Energy and Utilities Department  with the assistance of the Ministries of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning & Home Affairs, Public Utilities & Transportation, began and completed the process of developing relevant policy and legislation to guide and regulate all upstream activities related to oil and gas. We have through further assistance of experts in the field collated a comprehensive Bill.  We are now soliciting the support of as broad a stakeholder participation as possible to add to the value of this Bill.

 

Like all major legislation, the process of completion requires structured input from its stakeholder groups to provide their views on the various provisions detailed, such as safety, research & development, environmental considerations, standards, penalties, permitting, etc.  The on-line consultation will further seek comments on the framework established to oversee and ensure safety and compliance to industry standards and practices. 

 

In addition to the two-week on-line consultation, we will coordinate Focus Group meetings with core stakeholders in the petroleum sector via virtual platforms.

 

Hon. Goldray Ewing, Minister responsible for the Energy & Utilities Department, stated, “I am elated to see this Bill advance to the consultative phase, as it will seek to standardize procedures for research & development, whilst affording opportunities for stimulating economic growth & investment in this untapped sector.”

 

We are encouraging you, the general public, to participate and provide your input. 

Send comments to email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

You can also access the on-line consultation via the Turks & Caicos Islands Government Portal at www.gov.tc

 

END

Oral Health Month - DENTISTRY IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

 

BEGINS

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

DENTAL DEPARTMENT

 

Oral Health Month - DENTISTRY IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

 

Fellow residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Government Dental Department under the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services are very delighted that you can join us in the month of October in celebrating Oral Health Month. The month is being celebrated under the theme ‘Dentistry in A Changing Environment’. The month of activities will be celebrated from October 1st to October 30th 2020.

 

During this month, we will be highlighting various aspects and activities, geared at sensitizing the general public on the relevance of Good Oral Health. Good Oral Health contributes to Good Overall Health.

 

We are aware that COVID-19 has not just changed the way that we now have to access dental care for ourselves and families but COVID-19 the global pandemic continues to have devastating health, economic, and social effects, and is profoundly affecting the delivery of health services including Dental Services.                      

 

The Dental Department cannot stop over emphasizing the importance of prioritizing your oral health. You can play your part and improve Your Oral Health by following these helpful tips;

  • Frequently brushing your teeth at least three times a day and very importantly before retiring to bed at night.
  • Flossing regularly.
  • Use of anti-cavity mouthwash.
  • Drink a lot water:  at least 6-8 glasses per day.
  • Take your multivitamins.
  • Eat your fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain regular exercise.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice per year.
  • Wear your mask/face covering in public and especially when visiting the Dental Clinic.
  • Observe physical distancing of 6 feet.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Follow the new guidelines and protocols when visiting the Dentist.

 

The Government along with the Ministry of Health, invites you to visit your Dental Professionals for more information during this month.

 

ENDS

Turks & Caicos Government

Office of the Governor

Office of the Deputy Governor

Contact

COVID-19 UPDATE