THE statement released in April by the St Lucia Medical And Dental Association (SLMDA) on the healthcare crisis in Saint Lucia, shows concern of a key group of stakeholders regarding our healthcare system. The SLMDA rightfully objected to their perceived exclusion and the lack of transparency in a process which significantly impacts their area of work. Whatever your views of the current administration or of the SLMDA, it should be borne in mind that changes which impact users should be made in consultation with those same users, without risking the ire of such persons.
As someone who has attended several consultation events, it is always a disappointment when key stakeholders are absent, even after being invited to attend and share their views and opinions on shared matters of concern. On one occasion last year, I was in room of only six (6) people who had managed to attend a national Stakeholders Validation Meeting of national importance, despite dozens of invitations being extended. Therefore, it is encouraging when stakeholders find their voice and comment on their respective areas, because the synergy of several individual voices will usually exceed the presumed importance of a single and powerful opinion.
In a medical context, we would not want to be affected by decisions made about us without us. In a similar vein, it would be unfair to replace someone’s computer or upgrade important software without providing adequate training or other familiarisation for that individual.
This very column was created to shine a light on important issues with some bearing on ICT as the required level of citizen engagement was not always apparent. Perhaps on this occasion, there is broad disagreement on the way forward. More importantly however, is the need for different voices to be heard when making important decisions. Just be guided by the principle of ‘no decision about me, without me.’
To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.
About the Author
Dr. Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant offering expertise in data management, systems design, and analysis.