STATEMENT BY PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATIVE FOR VIEUX FORT NORTH, SLP CHAIRMAN AND SLP SPOKESMAN FOR HEALTH, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD PRODUCTION, HON MOSES JN BAPTISTE AT SLP PRESS CONFERENCE JUNE 19TH, 2018.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, people of Saint Lucia and friends who have joined us online. The grave and worsening healthcare crisis in Saint Lucia has been dealt yet another blow. The government of the United Workers Party has once again demonstrated its disrespect and disdain for the people of Saint Lucia.
Today June 19th 2018 and today marks fifty days (50) since the UWP government promised a statement to the nation on the details relating to their decision on the St. Jude Hospital, twenty days past their promised June 30 detailed report.
You may recall that on the eve of UWP’s two-year election anniversary, Minister Guy Joseph hurriedly convened a press conference to assure citizens that they had seen the errors of their ways with stopping the St Jude hospital reconstruction project for two years and that finally they have come to realize that the project can continue at its current location.
Two years later! Two years of aggravation and pain to the people of the south!
In the HTS news of April 30 2018, Minister Guy Joseph, Minister for Economic Affairs said the following as part of a statement on St. Jude Hospital and I quote
“I will allow the PM to make a pronouncement on this matter and within the next 30 days a pronouncement would be made on the St. Jude situation as far as the way forward is concerned, in terms of projections as to what is going to happen both with the existing facility and any new considerations being undertaken by the government at this point in time. “
This latest action by the government, is yet another example of a long and rapidly growing list of deliberate manoeuvres which are aimed at keeping Saint Lucians in a continuous state of confusion while the Ministers of this government and the Prime Minister continue to make secret arrangements with private foreign businesses to take control of our hospital facilities and healthcare systems. Recent statements by former Prime Minister Stephenson King can also be included as part of the grand scheme to “fool” the people and continue the “con” which the UWP government continues to play on the people.
Explanations by Minister King did not address the key issue of neglect of the St. Jude Reconstruction Project for two years by the Cabinet which he is a member of. In fact Minister King is also responsible, a second time, for the hardship the people of the south and others face as a result of the St. Jude saga. He has sat in Cabinet for over two years and participated in the secret arrangements to stop the construction and to confuse the people. There is documented evidence in the Handover Report of the decisions made by him; change of project scope, lack of financing, millions spent just before the elections of 2011, technical issues with the construction and many others. It is clear that Minister Stephenson King far from being quiet has actively and openly joined the deliberate misinformation platform that the Prime Minister and others started.
The government has not clearly indicated their decision on the fate of the St. Jude Hospital. The UWP government is instead actively trucking used container shells to the open field, next to the George Odlum Stadium, for use by our healthcare workers. These are the real workers, who by now, should have been in a brand new hospital, had the project not been stopped for two years by an uncaring government.
The Soufriere Hospital and the healthcare systems in Soufriere are reportedly also causing a worrisome build-up of frustration among the people of Soufriere, surrounding communities, hotel property owners and tourists, despite the government’s empty pronouncements.
It is very clear that the Cabinet of Ministers have decided collectively to, place the interests of Mr. Teo Ah Khing and the China Horse Club, travelling to horse races around the world, and giving horses priority over before our urgent healthcare matters.
The Prime Minister recently stated, publicly, that “the truth is what you want it to be” therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise that he is believing the DSH illusion which has been his obsession for most of his two years in office has more importance than the health of our people.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party urges all Saint Lucians to continue to be in an active state of mobilization. We cannot rest while this government keeps up its arrogant posture. It is clear the Prime Minister and his whole Cabinet of Ministers intend to continue their secret private deals to sell off our country under our very feet, while our people continue to suffer.
The 30 days have long past. The Prime Minister, instead of treating our people like his personal property, instead of referring to us as “beasts of burden” and “jackasses” must urgently refocus his attention from horses and donkeys to real people who are feeling the effects of a worsening healthcare crisis as their loved ones continue to die due to deteriorating conditions daily.