Former Chief Medical Officer, Dr Stephen King has added his voice to the growing debate on the reconstruction of St Jude Hospital saying it is urgent that patients are removed from the rapidly deteriorating George Odlum Stadium.
Dr. King, a Pathologist, pointed to a leaked audit which he said makes no recommendations for the complete demolition of the existing structure.
Health Minister Mary Isaac told reporters that the government was considering tearing down the existing structures.
Dr. King echoed the sentiments of the St Jude Hospital Chairman, Dr Ulric Mondesir that the stadium was unfit to house sick people.
“It is urgent that we relocate those patients. I mean the people in the south have suffered a lot with regard to hospital services since the fire. It’s now eight years and we need to move urgently.
Dr King also referenced a reports by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) which calls for patients to be moved urgently.
The former Chief Medical Officer said the condition of the stadium was getting worse and God forbid, would not be able to withstand the forces of a hurricane or earthquake.
He said authorities should now be considering how the hospital can be relocated in a phased manner.
“Regardless of the state of that construction, all the recommendations indicate that one could do a phased construction work and allow us to move patients in there fairly quickly.”
Dr King added: “we should put our heads together and come up with a very clear plan, a phased continuing construction of the new St Jude but allow the patients to move out of the George Odlum Stadium as quickly as possible. And I think it is something that as St Lucians we should come together on and be of one mind.”
St Jude Hospital has been operating from the George Odlum Stadium since a fire in September 2009 destroyed parts of the hospital.