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TALK BACK: Non-disclosure does more harm than good


Sherrylyn A. Toppin

TALK BACK: Non-disclosure does more harm than good

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Two issues, both of which involved a lack of communication with the general public, engaged the attention of online readers last week.
One instance surrounded the non-disclosure by the Ministry of Health (MOH), through the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), of which secondary school had a child who might have contracted tuberculosis.
The other was poor communication by the Transport Board regarding service challenges and the proposed changes to routes. Manager of marketing and corporate communications,
Lynda Holder apologised for not informing resolved since April.
Readers concluded that withholding information, especially of national importance, did not help anyone.
Here are their views:
On the MOH/BGIS:
• Carl Harper: With the start of hurricane season just days away, and the increasing desire of this government to keep important information close to its chest, one has to wonder if we will be told when a hurricane is bearing down on the island.
• Mac 10: Given the distance kids travel to go to school, this could be spread around the island so easily. The name of the school needs to be released so appropriate quarantining can be put in place. The GIS and MOH are wrong to withhold that info.
• Kean Indrani Baxter: I sometimes wonder if we live in another country. We are too small to be playing this game of “no disclosure”.
• Nicole AJ Hope-Wiltshire: Obviously whoever has it is not quarantined, only at school, so that means that anyone that the person has come in contact with outside of the school also is at risk. Barbados, wake up! Keeping this hushed, people will not get the necessary care that is needed as soon as possible.
On the Transport Board:
• Pan Willie: I have a feeling this “upgrade” will include changes to the bus routes. I anticipate some initial chaos. I hope Transport Board will take the time to utilise the services of  the Government Information Service and explain these changes carefully. How about some pamphlets/leaflets?
• Robert Goode: One would think that if you are providing a service to the public, you would communicate to the public any change in service that may affect them. Only in Barbados!
• Deswyn Haynes: Dear Barbados Transport Board, the people of this country have zero faith in you. You have the worst customer service.
• Deenee Thomas: One day soon, hopefully management in various businesses and government will stop the hiding and understand that the people who live in Barbados can read, write and understand English, most of them. It is not necessary to constantly keep folk in the dark, and then come out with some disgusting excuse.
• Sherrylyn Toppin is THE NATION’s Online Editor.

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