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St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association “disturbed” by healthcare issues

By SLMDA

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Dr. Alphonsus St. Rose, president (SLMDA)

Statement by the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) on the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project and the OKEU Hospital

The St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association is disturbed about the current “State of Emergency” regarding healthcare and our nation’s healthcare institutions, particularly Victoria and St. Jude Hospitals.

This is a matter of grave concern as it is the place where we are expected to deliver adequate and quality health care to the public. The mix of recent comments by public officials amidst the widespread public debate and ensuing confusion is extremely troubling to say the least. To date, a definitive decision has not been presented on an issue of such critical and national importance.

The existing hospitals are in a most deplorable and unacceptable state of operation, with medical and non-medical staff understandably demotivated and morale at an all-time low. Notwithstanding, our responsibility still remains the delivery of quality health care to the public. Priority must now be given to public safety and the welfare of healthcare providers, as we can no longer tolerate this unsustainable situation.

The current conditions make it almost impossible to deliver the quality of healthcare the public deserves and is entitled to. As a trade union and a professional organization, SLMDA has a duty to guarantee compliance with occupational health and safety standards at the workplace for its members and the public alike.

At present, all the citizens of this country have, after eight years of construction and three administrations, is a St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project in the south, now in a one year pause mode, at 50% completion, with a supposed cost of $118 million and a completed but not yet accessible OKEU Hospital in the north.

The public continues to wait for a modicum of decent health care with increasing anxiety, while diminishing confidence and distrust in the present health care system remains deeply rooted. Equally, civil society has now got an awakening of sorts to recognize that we must take responsibility in some measure for where we are today.

The SLMDA calls on the Government of St. Lucia to act decisively and responsibly to resolve this crisis by implementing the transition of services from Victoria Hospital to the OKEU Hospital soonest and completing the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project in a time and cost specific manner. This has to be a national priority, of necessity.

That said, the Government is also responsible and accountable to the people of St. Lucia to give a transparent and unbiased explanation as to what went wrong with these important health care facilities which have now become symbols of national embarrassment.

The Association is willing to lend its expertise as part of a multidisciplinary team to assist the Government of St. Lucia in solving this urgent national healthcare crisis. Healthcare is now a matter of national conscience and is profoundly personal to every St. Lucian. Hence our commitment to raising awareness on these issues by advocating for collective solutions to enhance the delivery of adequate, affordable, accessible and quality healthcare services to all citizens.

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9 comments

  1. When one remembers that Labour claimed to have had the smartest politicians in its midst, and watch the outcomes that emerged from that group, it gives one pause regarding how smart those Saint Lucians really are. Are plenty degrees the same thing as most or more intelligence? I don't think so.

    When in their midst there were those claiming to be alright being loyal stooges. Imagine people actually voting for a stooge and loving this.

    Healthcare is political football. Imagine one politician promising to make something as health, the No 1 priority, if and only if, that politician's party was returned to office. How base?

    (1)(0)
  2. I think the time has come when every citizen of St. Lucia, all organizations and other entities should not only let their voices be heard on this issue, but be prepared to take decisive action if needs be. Enough is enough, we can no longer sit idly bye and allow this mess to continue with administration after administration.

    (2)(0)
  3. What does this really say about st.lucians and the government. ???????

    2 half hosiptals over 300 million in total.

    15 yrs

    We still in old hospital since 50s 60s 70s

    Honistly admit it we are just not capable. Please admit it. We need a forign company to open it. I even heard rufus saying we dont need the chineese we will finish it ourselves.(the one on the millium highway)

    We cant even make a 4 lane highway. Instead we made a 4 lane crash way. No one knew the size of the lanes in other country's.

    Oh what a shame. I actually wonder what ministers do and if we need 17.

    Please rick wayne publish this comment

    (2)(1)
  4. St. Lucian Public "disturbed” by Doctors' Incompetence and ever Increasing Costs of Visits.

    (1)(1)
  5. Concerned patient

    Doc. good job well put together doc i would like you to address another issue for us A number of dentist i st. Lucia do not protect you during X-RAYS. When taking x-rays of tooth them and their assistantquickly leaves the rook and leave you unprotected while doing so
    Your dentist must place a lead “bib” over your chest, abdomen, and pelvic region to prevent any unnecessary radiation exposure to your vital organs. A thyroid collar may be used in the case of thyroid conditions. Children and women of childbearing age may also wear them along with the lead bib.

    Over seas needles used by dentist is taken frm a seal pack in your presence however here on this island upon entering the dental office the needle sits waiting to be used there is no guarantee that the same needles is not used on multiple patients

    (9)(0)
  6. Credibility and culpability of both government administrations. Even then and importantly the overriding factor will be the availability of funds required to actually operate both of those massive state of the art hospitals whilst still maintaining VH which will still require attention.

    So lets not be naive and examine the evidence. If both governments have over the years struggled and shown their inability to operate and maintain a modest VH. If both governments have shown their inability to operate and maintain a eight million dollar forensic laboratory. Then how will any of them be able to operate and maintain two (2) over one hundred million dollars state of the art hospitals. Notwithstanding the obvious mismanagement and fraud St. Jude's represents these are the realities of a poor country that will show, as it is showing, an inability to operate well outside of its financial, operational and management capabilities.

    How many main hospitals does Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad have, all countries having multi times our population and in the case of the last two multi times our size.

    (2)(0)
  7. Very diplomatic unbiased and non political statement

    (14)(0)

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