PRESS RELEASE – Leader of the Opposition Dr. Gale Rigobert has voiced concerns over a series of power outages and unresolved electrical problems at the Victoria Hospital.
The power outages earlier this week affected the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Operating theatre, which remained without power up until Wednesday, necessitating the cancellation of emergency and scheduled surgeries.
The laboratory was also without power, delaying the performance of vital tests. Patients requiring dialysis have been adversely affected by the severe and frequent power outages.
“These power outages have highlighted further inefficiencies in the Health sector, and in particular at the Victoria Hospital. This also raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the Health Minister, Ms. Alvina Reynolds.”
“The recent spate of power outages underscore the need to comply with the British Standard (BS7671) Wiring Regulations, the Saint Lucia Electricity Act and the importance of adhering to the local Wiring Regulation,” said Rigobert.
According to the Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition, the outages prompt several concerns about; the availability of and effective use of an operations and maintenance manual, the lack of or poor maintenance of equipment, the lack of routine inspections, and the failure to conduct regular safety Dr. Rigobert says these are “particularly poignant” given that in the last few days an employee has suffered an injury — magnifying the existing doubts about the hospital’s adherence to health and safety standards.
These recent occurrences beg the question, “Is the Ministry of Health guilty of breeching health and safety regulations and when last were inspections conducted by the Fire and Emergency Department and the Ministry of Infrastructure?”
Dr. Rigobert called upon the Minister to attend to this situation expeditiously given that lives are at risk and the hospital’s capacity to serve its patients had been crippled due to the blackout.