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Don’t ever attempt to demolish the St. Jude Hospital!
That’s the stern warning Vieux-Fortians have issued to the government after it announced that it is considering demolishing the hospital which is being rebuilt after being destroyed by fire eight years ago. The hospital, it claimed is of a poor standard and demolishing it is one of its options.
The warning has come from supporters of both the St. Lucia Party (SLP) and the United Workers Party (UWP) who have described the thought of demolishing the building as absurd.
When this reporter interviewed a number of them, there was venom in their voices as they expressed profound anger by the statements of government officials as it relates to the future of the hospital.
The situation has drove Vieux-Fortians into a militant mood. They say they are prepared to do almost anything to prevent government from demolishing the hospital which St. Lucians of all classes and age have made financial donations to reconstruct.
However, while some are venting their concerns openly without mincing words, others, many of whom include supporters of the UWP, are complaining in hush tones.
Vieux-Fortians feel all the lame excuses government is making for considering to demolish the hospital is a pretext to facilitate the construction of the race track, which is now a very contentious issue. They say no one with a functioning brain will ever consider doing such “madness” at a time when the country has no money to even provide basic needs to its citizens.
A supporter of the UWP who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said: “I am a supporter of the United Workers Party but now they (UWP) are forming the fool… I will be the first to demonstrate if any attempt is made to demolish the hospital.”
“Not over my dead body will this happened!” Hilary Saltibus fumed.
According to Saltibus, a former UWP candidate who contested the Vieux-Fort South seat some years ago, Vieux-Fortians will never allow such a thing to happen.
Winston Lubin said: “If the hospital is demolished I will be out there demonstrating…However, I don’t think that will ever happen.”
According to Lubin, the best option is to demolish the small cubicles in it and make it larger, adding that demolishing the entire hospital is not necessary.
“Is it a Teo Ah Khing ploy? ” he asked.
Larry Cadette said he will only support the demolishing of the hospital if another hospital will be built at the same site where the one under construction is located in Augier.
Anthony Bellas Said: “If that happens I will go there and demonstrate naked… Demolish $118 million and start from scratch?” he asked.
He said for every problem there is a solution, adding that there is one to deal with the problem with the hospital.
Another resident of Vieux-Fort who claims to be a supporter of the UWP said he will not say or do anything right now, but will surely do something if any attempt is made to demolish the hospital.
In the meantime residents of the south are lamenting the terrible state of the St. Jude Hospital which is now housed at the George Odlum stadium.