The controversy surrounding the reconstruction of St Jude Hospital continued on Monday with the Minister of Economic Development, Guy Joseph blaming the former project managers and former Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony for “destroying St Jude Hospital.”
Minister Joseph spoke at a news conference Monday.
He said there was no plan for the reconstruction of the hospital.
“Those who say they had a plan, I have called on them on several occasions. Give us the plan! So when Dr. Kenny Anthony, as Minister of Finance, was signing direct award after direct award, he should have known as Prime Minister what the plans were. So when he wants to have a meeting, these are the things that he needs to tell the people of St Lucia,” Joseph said.
“Not to come and try and make it look like we want to destroy St Judes. They have already destroyed St Judes. They don’t need my help to destroy St Judes. The management of the project destroyed St Judes,” Joseph added.
Joseph said the former Stephenson King administration also has some blame to shoulder with regards to the reconstruction project. He did not specify what the administration’s faults are.
The reconstruction of the hospital which was destroyed by fire in September 2009 has been mired in controversy.
Authorities say approximately $118 million has been spent on the project but there is still no clear plan when it will be completed.
“I am ashamed of what we have there. I am ashamed I am associated with government and that we are allowing this to pass as a project executed by a government.”
Meantime, St Jude Hospital continues to operate out of the crumbling George Odlum Stadium with frustrated staff complaining of burst pipes, cracking walls and dangerous missiles falling from the roof.
The Economic Development Minister said the government is still exploring all possibilities of “doing something with the existing St Jude building to, at least, make it the institution that we can move to in the interim. I cannot guarantee you that this is going to happen as I speak now because of the logistical problems that we have there.”