The United Workers Party in a Press Statement dated, October 12th, 2012 called on the Minister of Finance and the Government of Saint Lucia to: “….absorb retroactively all import duties on medication since VAT for the St Jude Hospital”.
Since issuing that Press Statement the UWP has learnt that St Jude Hospital has been forced to pay in excess of EC $25,000.00 since the imposition of VAT for the importation of supplies for the medical institution which is based in the south of the island.
The UWP is extremely concerned over the impact which the burden of this new tax commitment would have on the financial state and operations of the Hospital. We are worried that if the current Administration does not act quickly to relieve the medical institution from having to pay the VAT related taxes, St Jude Hospital may be forced to pass on the increased cost to patients and clients of the Hospital.
We therefore wish to restate our earlier call for the Government to absorb all import duties and VAT related taxes on medical supplies paid by St Jude Hospital to date. Further Government must ensure that the Hospital is not required to meet any further payment of import duties or VAT on medical supplies.
The United Workers Party expects that the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Kenny Anthony who is Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South, where the Hospital is located and the Minister for Health Alvina Reynolds, will put measures in place to ensure that St Jude Hospital and by extension the patients and clients of the health institution are granted a reprieve from the payment of these taxes which threaten to affect the viability of the Hospital and access to health care for persons in the south of the island.