Late Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt ‘a visionary leader’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Ronald Tsoi-A-Fatt -Photo by Angelo Marcelle

SENIOR health systems adviser at the Health Ministry Dr Stuart Smith described former Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) CEO Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt as a visionary leader who served with honour and distinction.

Tsoi-a-Fatt died on May 13, just three weeks after the new Sangre Grande Hospital was opened.

Speaking at his funeral on May 21 at the First Church of the Open Bible, Smith said Tsoi-a-Fatt dedicated his life to advancing the public health sector, especially for primary care.

“Ronald was a visionary leader in the advancement of primary health care services, as he recognised from early, long before it became fashionable and trendy, that primary health care was the foundation of wellness, and worked tirelessly in the pursuit of endeavours which led to the strengthening of our primary health care services delivery throughout Trinidad and Tobago.”

Delivering her father’s eulogy, Rhonda Tsoi-a-Fatt said he also championed the launch of the first regional health authority (RHA) public health observatory, facilitated the formation of the national poison information centre and led in the implementation of disaster-management activities at the national and RHA levels.

More recently, she said he created the first national mass quarantine and step-down facilities during the covid19 pandemic. In March 2020, over 60 cruise ship passengers were quarantined at Camp Balandra, shortly after the country’s borders were closed.

Despite all his academic accolades and decades of achievement, she said her father’s proudest one was the opening of the Sangre Grande Hospital.

She said her father was always people-focused, on those who worked for him and those who sought care at the facilities under his stewardship.

“In all of this, for Dad, at work, it truly came down to the people, the people who worked for him and the people whose lives depended on him. They were the most important aspect of the work.

“He treated everyone with care, decency and respect. He regarded every one of his staff as important and made sure everyone felt and understood their value. He treated all of his patients and clients with dignity, no matter their socioeconomic status.

“As a leader, he brought humanity and love to the business of health. And for that, he will be most remembered,” she said.

An ERHA tribute to Tsoi-a-Fatt said he served as its CEO from 1995-1999, 2005-2009 and 2017-2024. He also served as the CEO of the North Central Regional Health Authority from 2009-2011.

In 2008 he was awarded the Ministry of Health Director’s Award for Quality Leadership.