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SLP laments “continuing deterioration” of Saint Lucia’s healthcare system

By SNO Staff

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Jn Baptiste (left) and Dr. Ernest Hilaire at Wednesday’s press conference.

(SNO) — The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is lamenting what it said is the “continuing deterioration”of healthcare systems, especially at Victoria Hospital and the George Odlum Stadium.

The party also laments what is said is the collusion of ministers of government with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, especially during the recent debate on the no confidence motion, “in effect supporting the lack of urgency being demonstrated in undertaking actions which will bring relief to patients and staff who are forced to endure the most deplorable conditions at those hospitals”.

“How can ministers look the nation in the eye and say they support what the prime minister has allowed to take place in our health sector over the last two and half years?” asked SLP Chairman and SLP spokesman for Health, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Production, Moses Jn Baptiste, at a press conference on Wednesday. “Do they really believe he deserves a pat on the back or are they engaging in the most despicable demonstration of preserving self-interest over the national interest, ever witnessed in our country?”

According to Jn Baptiste, the healthcare system in Saint Lucia continues to go down the drain.

“Since our last press conference on health matters, reliable reports indicate that the Victoria Hospital has had to accommodate patients for days in the casualty department, inadequate x-ray services at the St. Jude hospital has forced patients to seek services outside of the hospital thus delaying crucial diagnosis,” he stated. “There continues to be an acute shortage of important medicines for the treatment of Saint Lucians and other people who access our health services, and more and more Saint Lucians are faced with the reality, in some cases and the possibility, that a loved one will die because of the indecision of the government and the callous manner in which the healthcare matters have been approached.”

He said many Saint Lucians are now afraid to visit St. Jude Hospital or Victoria Hospital because of the woresening conditions.

He quoted the prime minister’s New Year’s Day address when he said, “I am pleased to announced that we have already commenced clearing works for the new hospital wing and the ministries of health and economic development have finalized the designs.”

But according to Jn Baptiste, the following questions remain:

1. Have the designs been discussed with the Medical and Dental Association?

2. What exactly will happen to the rest of the St. Jude hospital buildings?

3. Will the east wing of the St. Jude Hospital be demolished to accommodate the so-called new wing?

“On the issue of OKEU, the prime minister continues to mislead the public,” Jn Baptiste stated. “He indicated in his speech that there was no plan for the OKEU. We remind the public once again that the government of the UWP found a commissioning team in place for the OKEU headed by Dr. Stephen King. There is still a report which is available called the Commissioning Status Report as of March 2016 (Revised).”

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One comment

  1. I guess what the SLP wants us to do is to look at the deterioration of Heath Care in isolation, not looking at what contributed to the problem and how it is going to be solved. Thats a narrow political view which often leads us to put plasters on tumors which would only surface later and extremely worse. So they are saying "don't concentrate on what happened before which led to this but concentrate on whats occurring now and hold them accountable because they are in government." That is only a short-sighted view and is bound to fail because it will have short-sighted remedies.

    My opinion is to investigate, in order to redesign and rebuild our health system while holding those responsible for the mess to account. So lets investigate what went on, do some research on what would meet our needs in terms of public or private or both. Find out which method of health insurance would be appropriate to pay for the system because it cannot run on water and ignore politicians who are not helping.

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