27th July 2021
The Director of Public Health, Dr Sohail Bhatti, will be departing from his role this Friday after his work contract has not been renewed.
Dr Bhatti has led Gibraltar through the pandemic as Director of Public Health, but despite his last day of work being this week he will stay in Gibraltar for some months.
“The politicians of Gibraltar have protected the people of Gibraltar by listening to the appropriate, qualified, professional advice given to them throughout the Pandemic,” Dr Bhatti told the Chronicle.
“In other territories, where this hasn't happened, there has been almost unmitigated disasters unfolding. I will remain here for a little while longer (though my last day in work is Friday), enjoying the last of the summer. I am honoured to have served the people of Gibraltar. I often choke up when ordinary members of the public come up to me to thank me; all I can say is it has been my privilege.”
“I do not know who is to cover for me, so have not been able to arrange a handover in my remaining three days. I understand the need to localise jobs to Gibraltarians, so wish my successor well. This Pandemic will not be over for another two years - the wily SARS-CoV-2 has a number of new tricks up its sleeve. This autumn will be particularly traumatic, sadly.”
Dr Bhatti has held the role of Director of Public Health for some three years, since November 2018 with his contract formally ending in November 2021.
Due to accumulated leave, he will not be working after this Friday.
Early this morning Dr Bhatti announced his departure on twitter, leaving a goodbye note to all his 1,500 followers.
“My time in Gibraltar has come to an end; my contract is not being renewed. I'm very sorry to have to leave,” he tweeted.
“I worked hard to protect the community during a very difficult period: the Pandemic is still not over.”
“Thank you everyone who helped and supported me! God bless Gibraltar!”
The Chronicle has asked the Gibraltar Government this morning why Dr Bhatti's contract was not renewed and is awaiting response.