Add St. Lucia News Online on Whatsapp +1758 712 6700; get major headlines and source us with news tips, photos, and videos

Will it be St Jude Hospital or DSH Horsepital?

By Vieux-Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change

 Share This On:

Construction site of the new St Jude Hospital.

(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Vieux-Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VF4Cs) is once again appealing to the Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and his Administration to hasten the completion of the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project and restore delivery of reliable, dependable, affordable and quality healthcare services to the people of Vieux-Fort and the rest of the southern region.

The government’s handling of the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project can best be described as a fiasco of unfathomable proportions. The Allen Chastanet Administration abruptly stopped worked on the project when it assumed power following the June 6, 2016 General Elections. The Project Manager, contractors and government’s own consultants for the project were immediately fired without any attempt to engage them in some sort of discourse on the status of the project.

All indications by the previous SLP Administration hinted at the completion and commissioning of the reconstructed health facility sometime in 2017. The current administration, soon after assuming office, commissioned a Technical Audit of the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project (SJHRP) and an Interim Report was delivered in January 2017.

This exercise cost tax payers nearly EC$1 million. The report showed that the project has so far cost taxpayers of this country over EC$100 million. The report also identified structural deficiencies, lack of compliance with international standards and some disparity between location of some units and their intended functionality as major shortcomings. But it also recommended the completion of the project (to be informed by a master plan aligned to an overarching national health plan) through a phased approach.

Some 22 months after assuming office and 16 months after receiving the above report, the Prime Minister makes the unbelievable pronouncement in his 2018-2019 Budget Presentation that his administration is yet to decide what to do with St. Jude Hospital. Previous government pronouncements about the future of hospital moved from complete demolition, to repurposing, to building a new health facility in close proximity to the existing St. Jude Hospital in a manner that would incorporate some of the existing buildings into the new facility. And now the Prime Minister declares that his administration is still in a comatose state regarding the future of this important health facility.

The response of the current administration to the St. Jude Hospital problem is unconscionable, insensitive, absurd and reckless. It shows a continuing disregard for the pressing and urgent health needs of the residents of Vieux-Fort and the rest of the southern region in particular and citizens of St. Lucia in general. The provision of reliable, adequate, affordable and high quality health services is a moral obligation of any government and must never be used as a political weapon to make people suffer.

Many independent engineers and knowledgeable health professionals are convinced that the physical deficiencies identified in the SJHRP can be corrected or repaired and, therefore, the reconstruction of the facility should be completed. The current administration has contemptuously ignored such good advice. National anguish over the government’s arrogant refusal to listen to the voices of concern and reason continues to increase.

It is about time that the people of the south are given back their St. Jude Hospital. The Medical and Dental Association has publicly pointed out the inadequacies and unsuitability of the George Odlum Stadium to continue to serve as a major medical facility. The rapidly decaying state of the roof, general working conditions in the constrained physical space of the stadium and absence of certain key, sensitive medical equipment do not enable the hospital staff to deliver high quality health care to patients.

Hospital staff and independent observers are deeply concerned that the worsening conditions at the stadium might be heading towards a major medical and human catastrophe. Inspite of this, the Prime Minister has said that St. Jude Hospital will spend another two years at the stadium while the government looks toward building a brand new, state- of- the- art hospital. According to the experts, any new hospital will be costly and take about 6-8 years from conceptualization to commissioning.

It is becoming increasingly plausible to suggest that the government’s “apparent indecision” about St. Jude Hospital is nothing more but a pretext to facilitate the establishment of Teo Ah Khing’s Equine Disease Free Zone, the extent of which is stated in the DSH Framework and Supplementary Agreements. The absence of information, transparency and consultation can lead to speculation and widespread rumours. The government must make it abundantly clear to the residents of Vieux-Fort and the south that the outrageous demands of a dubious investor are not being given priority over the pressing heath needs of a significant percentage of the population of St. Lucia.

The government must, therefore, follow the recommendations of the Technical Audit of the SJHRP -Interim Report and devise a course of action for expediting the completion and reopening of the hospital in the quickest possible time. Health care in Vieux-Fort and the south is in a state of crisis all because of the current administration’s recalcitrance and vacillation about the future of St. Jude Hospital fueled by political mischief.

(18)(20)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

13 comments

  1. Where were the concerned citizen coalition (an arm of the labour party) during the reign of the labour party government. The former prime minister, minister of finance, representative for Vieux-For south made a mess with st Jude hospital construction. Not a word from that coalition at the time. Now the coalition found their voices because they lost their high paying jobs under the last government. I am confident that this government is on the right tract and they a state of the art hospital for the of Vieux-fort.

    (0)(1)
  2. after 5 years of labour rule no hospital ..where were you then ,....did you make demands on your government then ..was the george odlum stadium safe then ..as far as i recall it wasnt but all of a sudden you and your group sees the danger with the stadium smh you idiots can only fool idiots like yourself
    come clean with the people ..just say that its all in the name of politics

    (0)(1)
  3. Y'all might not want to believe me, but I know exactly who plotted to burn the Soufriere Hospital and the reason they did. I have been trying to speak out about this black mail an no one seems interested in what I'm trying to say. There is a young nurse at the Soufriere Hospital, very loving, compassionate and kind, that nurse has never disrespected anybody, but sometime last year, she was the victim or target of a vicious attack. There was a girl in her community, a prostitute who started spreading rumors around the town that the nurse was fighting with her for man and how the nurse was the one who burnt the hospital. That prostitute tried to succeed at brainwashing members of the public against the young nurse, but people know better. I know what's going on because that same girl who spread the rumours approached me telling me the same nonsense, I listened, but I knew better than to believe. The nurse comes from a good family, nice grand parents and all, these children don't evrn speak much or go out, far less cause trouble. The prostitute saw that the nurse was getting close to a man she wanted, the nurse was working, the guy was working but she was not so she decided to be flat out devilish. Telling the nurse to live the man for woman that not working, saying how the man is her kid step father and how she'd send her boys to rape and kill the nurse. A patient used to come to the hospital to take information to bring back for the prostitute. When they say the nurse was still moving forward, they got even more enraged and jealous and decided to pay some young boys from Palmiste to catch the hospital on fire when the nurse was working the shift. The ministry let the nurse go, I heard she lost her man because the prostitute ju ju him, but I not worried for the nurse, she always praying so I know it's God that seeing her efforts. You see what jealousy can do. Police going to the nurse home with guns and all that, take the girl family computer and all electronics. Somebody working at the hospital tell me they had a meeting with the police, they said they have no evidence against the nurse but she is a person of interest. If they don't have nothing on the nurse, why so many patients have to suffer as she not there? Why harass the girl. Why no go behind the prostitute and her family and the patient and the boys from Palmiste? Why the young nurse thst never do nobody nothing? The prostitute tell me she doing all that because she no is the nurse the police going to blame it on, she even say she have the girl man wrap around her fingers, she block his eyes so he will never see the truth in anything his woman the nurse say to him. He go always question her. That's what people have to check, that's what Richard Frederick and Yardie and Jahim need to addresd. It's time.

    (0)(0)
  4. What happen with the St.Jude's Hospital is a tragedy

    (1)(0)
  5. God forbid should there be an air plane crash - how are we going to save the lives of the injured without a hospital nearby? We want to boost up tourism and we can't even facilitate them in that kind of eventuality. Should this news spread on the international scene regarding not having a hospital close to an international airport, people will think twice about visiting St Lucia.

    Or any immediate emergency needed by foreign visitors at the point of landing in Vieux-Fort! That will make very favourable world news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????

    (2)(0)
  6. fools fools

    (0)(0)
  7. Useless political sh.. you talking.

    (4)(13)
  8. What a pile of bulls.. Who wrote this? JJ or Monty? They are embarrassment to VFort.

    (12)(15)
  9. These politicians all promise and when they get elected, realities sets in,....realize they can’t deliver. Instead of telling the populace the truth, they devise all kinds of excuses thinking we are stupid. Just tell people the truth instead of stringing them along. This will go a long way to getting our respect. These are the guys that talked about transparency and informing the masses. We never forget....

    (20)(6)
    • Are you believing these 4Cs idiots. Don't you listen or read the news yourself? All the information have been given about ST Jude Hospital by this govt. We will have a new state of the art hospital in 2020.

      (8)(25)
      • That is unacceptable, and believe you me...a riot is forming...i just pray i am indoors at the time. Alot of this generation whom have these leeches in power are now well off...they are capable of making a mockery of the average citizen...i have been to the hospital and I see their reason for putting a halt on the job...but its not an atom of a good excuse to scrap its current state. That place is all cosmetic, the hospital can serve its prime function and in the background work can be done. Do not let this propaganda fool you...focus on what is really amidst you. Politicians are getting filthy rich, don't let their back and forth of banter throw you off. These so called men, wine and dine behind closed doors, they are brothers at a bar setting. Lucians stop eating your own vomit... Red and Yellow cannot exist anymore. My generation is colourblind we see the joke of governments come and go..meanwhile we suffer. Take heed. We will come with a wrath...guns ablazing..

        (0)(0)
      • Jackass!!!!!

        (0)(0)
      • FOOL!

        (0)(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.