Allen Chastanet, the leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), has strongly criticized the government over diabetes care.
Chstanet did so in an interview with the Times while discussing the latest development in the case involving Doctor Walid Juffali.
A British Judge has ruled that a divorce settlement case filed by Juffali’s ex wife will proceed, although Saint Lucia has refused to waive his diplomatic immunity.
According to the Judge, Juffali sought and obtained a diplomatic appointment with the sole intention of defeating his ex-wife’s claims.
The Saudi billionaire is this country’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
“The Judge has said what is apparent to everybody else and what this government continues to live in denial about, that there is a strong correlation between Doctor Juffali as Ambassador to the IMO and his case and his appointment never had anything to do with what he was going to do for Saint Lucia, “ the UWP leader told the Times.
Chastanet asserted that the appointment of the Saudi had nothing to do with any investment in Saint Lucia, since two years after his appointment there has been no investment.
He recalled claims by the Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony, that Juffali loves this country and that the Saudi national was going to make a big investment in diabetes research.
Nevertheless Chastanet noted that Saint Lucia has a brand new hospital a brand new hospital that has been given to this country by the Europeans, which is yet to be opened.
The UWP leader has noted that the government has given no explanation for the failure to open the facility, which has impacted on diabetes care on the Island.
“But even more damning than that is that there is a dialysis clinic in that hospital in which here are eleven dialysis machines,” Chastanet observed.
“One takes into consideration that Victoria only has eleven, St Jude has six and Tapion Hospital has six, and there’s hundreds of people who are on a waiting list. When we know Saint Lucia has the highest rate of diabetes and the number of people in the future who are going to need dialysis, this is something that could have resolved our need now.”
Chastanet described the failure to open the new national hospital as “criminal”.