In a media release issued yesterday in the wake Monday’s suspension of 14 nurses, Brown said the absence of Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, some Cabinet ministers, and key government officials at the opening of such a regional forum was unprofessional, and may have been construed by those present at the forum as lack of support by government.
While no-one has detailed exactly how protocol was breached at the forum opening, Brown said “interference” in the programme for the event should not have happened the way that it did.
“It should have been a collaborative recognition of our Cook Islands ambassadors working in international organisations which the Ministry of Health and the government would have supported wholeheartedly.
“The decision by the Secretary of Health, Aumea Herman (to suspend some of the Nurses’ Association committee members), was made, I believe, to ensure that government employees respect and follow due process to avoid double standards regarding our hosting of such forums.
“However, I have kindly requested the secretary to review her decision and I understand that last night she has reversed her suspension action.”
Brown, who issued the release from Atiu, said she would hold a meeting with the association when she returned to Rarotonga later in the week.
“The 19th South Pacific Nurses Forum was a success and I acknowledge the positive feedback of the forum by the host and organiser, the Cook Islands Nurses Association (CINA).”