Following a sustained outburst in her office, Miller was taken to St Ann’s where she has been kept for the past fortnight, amid the protestations of some relatives and co-workers calling for her release.
Browne yesterday raised the case in the Lower House debate on the Regional Health Authorities (Amendment) Bill 2012.
“I call on the Minister of Health to investigate this travesty,” Browne hit. “Who made the call to mental health officers to resolve a simple office dispute and a woman standing up for her rights?” He said it was a shame that two caring ministries were involved — Health and Gender.
He alleged that before Miller was taken away, she was seen talking to line Minister Verna St Rose-Greaves. Speaker Wade Mark cautioned him about imputing improper motives to anyone. Browne continued, “Senior officials of the Ministry were very much involved in the decision to invoke the Mental Health Act.”
In a clear allusion to St Rose-Greaves’s past activism, Browne said if someone was seen ringing a bell and dousing oneself in red paint outside Parliament, they might have the Mental Health Act invoked against them. “Any citizen can go to work on a morning and be concerned someone can call the mental health team to take them away.”
Browne also called for better testing of blood donations. Likely alluding to a recent case of HIV-transmission to a child by an infected blood transfusion, he said the public is very concerned about a problem in the National Blood Transfusion System. Browne lamented that ripples had been caused in the blood donation system by changes made to the “chit system” under former health minister, Therese Baptiste-Cornelis.
He hailed as a “precious pool” those blood donors who donate year in year out without knowing the recipients.