The leader of the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has told St Lucia Times that it is ‘quite shocking’ to learn that after pumping millions into rebuilding St Jude Hospital (SJH), the government is considering demolishing the structure.
“To us in the LPM this isn’t just insane, but demonstrates the government’s lack of commitment to providing adequate health services to the people of Saint Lucia,” Prudent asserted.
”It also paints a frightening picture of the United Workers Party government’s understanding of what it means to be fiscally responsible in the discharge of its responsibility to the nation, while balancing its spending,” the LPM leader told St Lucia Times.
He said: “You can’t simply with a stroke of crane or bulldozer reduce millions of dollars in hard earned donations and financial investments to rubble. What sane person or government does that?”
Prudent declared that this government cannot talk about being fiscally responsible when it has not done anything to rein in wastage.
He accused the Allen Chastanet administration of continuing an ‘open assault’ on the public purse by saddling the nation with massive debt incurred as a result of new political appointees in every department of government, including embassies and consulates abroad.
“Personally, and as leader of LPM, I believe that should the government proceed with the idea of demolishing St Jude, every local and foreign persons or entities who have made financial contributions to the rebuilding of the medical facility should demand a refund,” he stated.
Prudent told St Lucia Times that the idea of demolishing the structure undermines this country’s relationship with foreign governments around the world.
He expressed the view that those governments may just conclude that the next time Saint Lucia finds itself in any grave situation, they should not send a penny to a nation and government that devalue the assistance given.
According to the LPM leader, Prime Minister Chastanet and his government must rethink their strategy of making government accountable to the people of Saint Lucia, and find an intelligent plan to deliver on the promises of adequate health care throughout the length and breadth of this country, while ensuring that Saint Lucia’s resources are properly managed.
“It is really sad that after three consecutive governments which started with a UWP government headed by Stephenson King, the only solution to government’s inability to complete St Jude, is to demolish it,” Prudent lamented.
Minister of Health Senator Mary Isaac on Thursday revealed that the Allen Chastanet Administration is ‘considering’ scrapping the current building plant expected to house the overdue St Jude Hospital.
Fire destroyed the surgical wing of the hospital in 2009, with the result that the operations of the medical facility were moved to the George Odlum National Stadium in Vieux Fort.