PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) says it is very surprised by Mr. Allen Chastanet’s recently adopted position on health care financing.
According to the SLP, it is very hypocritical and self-serving, that Chastanet would have supported a decision to abort Universal Health Care whilst he served in Government and further reject the SLP Government’s offer to form a Joint Parliamentary Committee on Health Care Financing, only to bring the matter to a political platform as a promise in exchange for votes.
It is sad that Chastanet’s narrow political interests do not allow him to see beyond his selfish ambitions and to realize that health care financing cannot and should not be a partisan issue.
Chastanet should have instead, used his influence during his time in Government to protect the Universal Health Care Program which commenced under the Labour government, if he is indeed so passionate about the issue. Even after such a colossal error was made by his Government, the UWP now in Opposition was given an opportunity to redeem its error and to work through a Joint Parliamentary Committee to attend to the issue of financing health care. Sadly, the UWP never responded or even indicated an interest in this national initiative.
On January 12, 2015, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony wrote to the Leader of the Opposition to follow up on a proposal made in the House of Assembly on December 16, 2014. To date, the Opposition has not recommended its members to be part of the Committee.
A further call was issued to the Opposition on March 19, 2015, to which the Opposition has not responded. Indeed, the Prime Minister, in an effort to maintain the independence of the Committee, had recommended that Former Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for Castries North, Hon. Stephenson King chair the Committee.
It is, therefore, hypocritical, opportunistic and self-serving that Chastanet would use the issue of healthcare financing as a campaign tool, after ignoring it for nine years.
The SLP calls on the Leader of the UWP to be more empathetic and to show more regard and respect for the well-being of the people he seeks to represent. Chastanet should begin by admitting that it is wrong to sacrifice lives and the quality of care in the short-term, to fulfill his personal political agenda. Only a heartless person would go this route, as opposed to accepting an invitation to begin to address the issue now.