Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has promised that an announcement on he future of St Jude Hospital (SJH) will be made soon, while accusing the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) of continuing to create propaganda.
He spoke days after the party held a protest demonstration in Vieux Fort against the government and what organisers said were plans to demolish he SJH.
Chastanet told reporters Wednesday that the opposition creates propaganda to suit their own story.
“They still have not answered the question as to why after five years they were not able to open up the hospital,” the prime minister asserted.
He declared that the SLP has not been able to refute the fact that over $118 million was spent on a building that does not meet technical specifications.
Chastanet said he did not understand what the recent opposition protest march was about, but observed that Saint Lucia is a free country and the SLP is entitled to march and advocate its position.
He stated that his administration is focussed on solving the problem.
“I think that we are doing it in a most responsible way. We had to first assess what is going on at the hospital, then we looked at what all the alternatives are. We are in the process of making a decision and that decision will be based on the results we are getting from some of the private sector people we are talking to to,” Chastanet explained.
He told reporters he is hoping that very soon he will be able to announce a solution to be able to open a hospital in the South of Saint Lucia and say what will happen to the SJH building.
“I am also saying to Saint Lucians that the report was sufficiently damaging that we have handed it over to a legal firm as well as to a forensic auditing firm to do an evaluation and determine who is culpable
Chastanet said he was also looking to appoint a small group of people to spearhead an investigation.
He recalled that he has told the nation that someone needs to be held accountable.
The Prime Minister noted that his government has repeatedly stated that it would not demolish the SJH building.
“The report indicated that if we were going to use that building and in order to make it fit for the purpose of being a hospital, there are parts of the building that would have to be demolished, but we have certainly not pronounced as a government what our intentions are going to be – that is exactly what we are working on and I am hoping to be able to make an announcement very, very soon,” the PM said.