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STATEMENT BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION HON PHILIP J. PIERRE ON ST.JUDE HOSPITAL AT THE SLP’S PRESS CONFERENCE – MAY 30TH 2018
This UWP government for almost two years has been engaged in a witch-hunt against members of the last SLP government over the St Jude’s reconstruction project at the expense of ignoring the worsening conditions at the George Odlum stadium where a number of avoidable deaths have occurred.
After widespread public outrage and disgust and pressure from the Saint Lucia Labour Party they have decided to recommence works at the St Jude’s reconstruction hospital project albeit on “some of the buildings”.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the government to give the public more details on the proposed recommencement. We hope that the government pursues public procurement of work for the project and contracts are awarded in a transparent and accountable manner.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls upon the government to remain focused on the work that needs to be done to get the St Jude’s hospital completed in the shortest possible time to allow for the transfer of operations from the George Odlum Stadium.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party would also like to thank the general public, the Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens, the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association for their courage and support in keeping the pressure on the government. The doctors, nurses and staff must be commended for their patience and continuous delivery of professional health services under difficult conditions at the George Odlum Stadium.
The Prime Minister and government however owes an apology to the citizens that have lost family members at the George Odlum stadium on account of the poor conditions as illustrated by the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association “These deplorable circumstances in which we are expected to deliver healthcare services to the public accounts for the poor quality of our healthcare delivery outcomes and increasing numbers of unwarranted deaths, all continuing to spiral out of control.”
An apology is also owed to the health professionals who continue to work in the most difficult and frustrating circumstances.
The Minister also indicated that the OKEU will be opened soon under a Joint Venture. No longer a PPP. A joint venture is a privatized arrangement where both parties gain OWNERSHIP of the entity and shares PROFITS, RISKS and GOVERNANCE. This therefore means that the investor will be interested in making profits at our health facility while our people may have difficulty in affording the services of OKEU. If a joint venture is being pursued, why has the Board of OKEU been appointed when it is clear that this structure will change soon based on the joint venture being pursued?
WE CALL ON THE GOVERNMENT AGAIN TO MAINTAIN THE STATUTORIZED MODEL THAT IS ENSHRINED IN THE MILLENNIUM HEIGHTS MEDICAL ACT NO. 1 OF 2015.
Our healthcare must be accessible, affordable, reliable and of the highest quality for our People of Saint Lucia!
The Saint Lucia Labour Party has received no formal information on the details of the proposed health insurance and calls on government to enter into a complete and honest dialogue with all relevant parties including the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association on the proposed health insurance scheme.
The spokesman for health Hon Moses Jn. Baptiste will further discuss the issue of health insurance.