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Press Release:-  SLMDA wishes to extend sincere condolences to the family of the patient of the OKEU Dialysis Unit who recently passed.

This press statement must embrace and be clearly mindful of all the tenets of decorum, sensitivity, respect, dignity and empathy for the grieving family at this difficult time. Let us all keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

However, it would be remiss of SLMDA not to bring to light the danger of administrative actions void of appropriate consideration(s), given our level of ill-preparedness to deal with the ensuing consequences. This recent incident highlights the dangerous notion that healthcare decisions can be directed on the basis of political expediency rather than clinically, evidence-based and rationally driven decision-making. The transitioning to the OKEU is too slow, piecemeal, dysfunctional and appears politically rather than clinically driven.

Certainly, not providing all the support services at OKEU before moving the Dialysis Unit would have made it very difficult to provide the emergency support needed when a patient on dialysis crashes. This is always a real possibility for patients during dialysis. SLMDA did warn the relevant authorities on several occasions of the unintended consequences of such vacuous decision-making without collective professional consultation and adequate risk management considerations and in particular, the specific danger to dialysis patients. The practice of medicine, unlike many other professions, carries a very narrow margin for error, but more especially so in the setting in which we are given to function, with ever increasing demands from the public, but very limited diagnostic and therapeutic options.

The callous attempts at removing the fiberglass roof at the GONS without obtaining prior and necessary approvals from the Occupational Health and Safety Department and the DCA (to protect and safeguard the workers, patients and visiting public) brings to mind another recent case of wanton disregard and disrespect for public safety. Even doctors got ill because of this unparalleled level of reckless and irresponsible behavior; but more pressing is the unhygienic, inhospitable and inhumane ambiance in which we the doctors and healthcare workers are being asked to deliver healthcare services to the public, which stands in sharp contra-distinction to any moral and ethical considerations.

We have pleaded repeatedly with the authorities to remove the workers and patients from the GONS, but no one appears to be listening. SLMDA had no choice but to lodge a complaint to the Health and Safety authorities to investigate these matters, which has resulted in a temporary halt to the roof demolition. SLMDA awaits a full report from the Occupational Health and Safety Department outlining the issues, giving clear guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all workers and the visiting public and the enforcement of the law where relevant authorities exhibit recklessness in making decisions against the public interest. At the heart of our responsibility and duty is an unwavering commitment to safeguard the public health interest.

We continue to warn the authorities of the dangers of continuing operations at the GONS and wish to highlight once more that every attempt ought to be made urgently to complete the East Wing at the SJHRS rather than the time-consuming and cost prohibitive option of building a new facility.

It is time to urgently rethink and reset the priorities in good conscience and in the public interest as the clock continues to tick. The Hewanorra International Airport, the presence of hotels in the south and the public all remain areas of exposure and increased vulnerability of immeasurable consequences if we do not act now to urgently close these gaps. Risk-management considerations are not being taken seriously and that is good reason for concern.

Healthcare services must always remain available to and efficiently operated in the greater interest of the public good. This is a national imperative and not a partisan issue. No citizen should have to ask themselves, how do I access healthcare for my family? Why should the decision to live or die be pegged to whether or not the citizens have the means to access private vs public health facilities? This is most unconscionable and it is the Government’s responsibility (any government) to provide such public access facilities for its citizens. The notion that National Health Insurance can operate properly outside the framework of a carefully customized Universal Healthcare plan is an oxymoron conceptually and operationally, the former being one of several possible funding mechanisms for the latter.

There should never be disproportionate promotion of private sector growth at the expense of the public and the public purse without equitable and reciprocal returns on investment. The St. Lucian public must continue to speak out for what is right, for what is in its best interest collectively, and must of necessity take up its rightful place in shaping its destiny.

SLMDA once more is calling on the Government to accelerate the efficient and cost-effective transitioning to the OKEU, to fast-track the commencement of works on the East Wing at the SJHRS, to evacuate everyone from the GONS soonest and to continue the broad consultations on healthcare with stakeholders including the Executive of the SLMDA.

Dr. Alphonsus St. Rose

President (SLMDA)

25 COMMENTS

  1. Hypocrites! When things like such release start happening, The trustworthiness of these doctors on the SLMDA is questionable. I personally has stopped trusting them. Playing politics with people’s health. Politics is a nasty game and their desperation can make their clients victims, to make a point. SLMDA has gone that low.

  2. Musa yesterday and SLMDA today as was expected. These things are choreographed and it will continue. Be aware.

    • If you or a family member should,god forbid, need to have to dialysis you would be saying something else. whether it is political or not people are dying and something needs to be done. Health care has never been this bad and everybody is becoming calloused because of politics. Hopefully you have enough money to go to Martinique not that that is a guarantee. once you have put politics over basic health care you need to check your own heart (less)

  3. It appears we don’t have a government for the people or else they would have been guided by the professional. Why people have to die unnecessary? When will this end Mr. P.M.?

  4. Where were you all when diabetics were dying because of INSUFFICIENT dialysis machines at victoria? Hypocrites.

  5. Sad Telling the truth. If it was your brother sister mother god forbid you would not attack the messengers but will focus on the message. IS what they are saying clinically true. I know it is because they spoke to them about the roof at SJH and a medical doctor (family members alleged supporters of the government ) almost died. Whilst other patients had to be evacuated.

    In the case of the dialysis machines they indicated that there must be support medical services for the patient onsite otherwise they can die and it happened. If this is politics then you can also call it vodoo

    • It’s all about the hypocrisy. I had friends and family who dies of diabetes/failed kidneys, under the SLP administration because of shortage of medication and limited machines and there were no complains. What existed under the SLP was worse than what exist now. Was there support services? No dialysis Machine and no support services under the SLP government. I guess the SLP and SLMDA knew about support services only after this government made more dialysis machine available for the many diabetics who would have died under an SLP administration. “Support Services” from the SLP and SLMDA? What a joke. Free healthcare will made it available under this govt. A LAME RELEASE.

  6. DAMN HYPOCRITE! GO BACK AND E TEND CONDOLENSES TO ALL WHO HAVE DIED AT VH, TAPION, AND ST JUDES…….

    I AM SICK OF ALL OF YOU ……………PLAYING POLITICS WITH A DEATH????????

    YOU NEED TO APOLOGISE TO THE FAMILY FOR THIS CRAP!!! PRESS RESEASE???

    My sincere condolences to the family

  7. politics is a dangerous thing eh, an organisation whhich has remained silent for years, nothing said about the state of healthcare, the conditions of work of their members, nor any mention of the impact on patients. All of sudden governments change and this same organisation has time to now send out condolences to family members, when they think it will create some political mileage.

    however we are generally free thinkers, except for 30% hacks among us, we can see through this charade. what about the condolences of other patients, hoping to see this as something that is extended to everyone who dies at a health institution, otherwise we will know that this is political

    we are watching and your members are known, i hope this does not lead to the destruction of your organisation in the long run…

  8. What I want to know is what will be done for the family. He also had a son. That’s pure nonsense happening in this country. This could have been avoided.

  9. What are the “Support Services” when someone crashes on a machine. Isn’t it something the doctors and nurses should be prepared to deal with? Isn’t it the SLMDA responsibility to ensure that the doctors and nurses are trained in this field.

    • you watching too much tv………… So a family member of yours died when SLP was in power and you vex. and you still so vex that we should not have any good care under UWP. that is what you are saying? that burden you carrying so big that everybody else has to die for it. wow. with all that bitterness it seems that you will need a doctor soon

  10. why must st lucians be such hypocrites? do doctors or government control life? whether we have good health care or not, best doctors, dialysis machines or whatever, if God says it’s time to go, can they stop death? you people are too judgemental to too stuck on politics rather than being stuck on God and reality and His will.

  11. Incredible. People will use any tragedy to advance their selfish agenda. If you want to release a statement then go ahead but don’t use the deceased man or his family as pawns in your little game of chess. You are also minimizing your profession and position. So many people have died from the various health institution for a myriad of reason not limited to and including health practitioner errors. When has a statement ever been released before expressing regret or condolences? My friend went in to give birth and never came back out alive because she was left unattended and bleed to death. The family and I are still waiting for our statement, apology, thought or prayers from Dr. St. Rose and the SLMDA! Shameful and Callous!

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