Newly sworn in Health Minister Julius Timothy has cited a lack of proper management as a major setback in the country’s health system.

Timothy won the Roseau North seat on a Dominica Labour Party ticket at the December 18, 2009 poll.

He said he is ready to put policies and programmes in place to ensure a better healthcare system in Dominica.

“One thinks that you have to be a doctor to take on the mantle as minister of health, but that is not even the case. It’s all about management and managing the system. We have a new hospital that has to be built and that has to be managed,” he said.

Timothy said he is worried about chronic non-communicable diseases affecting Dominicans.

“The Pan American Health Organization has told us that 66 percent of our women are obese and that has to be addressed. We have to put programs and policies in place to ensure that our people become more health conscious. Too many of our people die with heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes,” he said.

The new health minister is also concerned about the services at the country’s main hospital.

“Even our hospital you hear people saying that they stay several hours before they see a doctor. This is unacceptable and it must stop. Even our nurses, you communicate with them behind a fence. They need to be more in touch with the patients and make them feel comfortable. All these things must be managed and done properly. We have a security system that is lacking and we must look into that,” he said

Timothy also suggested that the Ross University School of medicine should have their own hospital. He also suggested that they could take over the Portsmouth hospital and make it the referral hospital.

New Minister of Health Julius Timothy arrives at Monday's swearing-in ceremony/Sean Douglas photo