The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Gender Relations and Human Services has warned persons to be wary of a fake website purporting to be that of the New National Hospital under the domain www.saintlucianationalhospital.com.
In a press release, the ministry labelled the site as an internet scam and warned persons not to fall victim to it.
The ministry, its agencies and officials have categorically denied being responsible for any of the information, suggestions, comments and empirical data found on the domain.
The ministry, in the release said, the site is simply a ploy by cyber criminals using social engineering techniques such as phishing, email and internet fraud to facilitate illegal activities in order to gather personal information and financial gain from unsuspecting victims.
The ministry said it has been carefully monitoring the website for a few weeks and has already launched a complaint to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Internet Crimes Complaints Center.
The ministry said it is extremely concerned that such activities are adversely impacting individuals seeking to support, partner and donate to the new hospital.
Senior government officials and the Minister of Health Alvina Reynolds have met on the matter and according to the release, Reynolds said that while she “appreciates that Saint Lucia’s advancements in health care has not gone unrecognized internationally,” her ministry “is genuinely worried that such deceptive techniques would harm the reputation of the government of Saint Lucia.”
“When we consider our country’s record-breaking partnership with the European Union and the dedication of Team Health towards this critical component of our National Strategic Plan for Health, we must venture to protect the integrity of our health institutions, our allies and our agents. As the minister for health, wellness, human services and gender relations, protecting the legitimate business of the government of Saint Lucia is an ultimate priority and my ministry will continue to be vigilant, pursuant to this cause,” said Reynolds.
The minister added: “As the ministry enters the final phases of construction on the New National Hospital, we have invited the public in the process of naming our New Health Complex. Once the competition has ended on August 20, 2013, there will be no confusion with the true identity of our facility. However, in the interim, we want to advise our friends and partners both here and abroad, to be very wary of any suspicious internet activity and without hesitation, contact the Ministry of Health with any questions or concerns.”
The ministry said that it will “spare no effort” in safeguarding the public in this matter.