SLMDA: Diagnosis Red, Eye that is!

by George

The structural appraisal report of the George Odlum Stadium (GOS) reveals many things and the Recommendations and Conclusions portion of that report makes for quite an interesting read.

  1. The structural condition assessment concludes that there is uncertainty in determining the structural integrity of roof structure when exposed to an extreme event such as an earthquake or hurricane.
  2. the roof structure is in an extremely dilapidated state and may be approaching a premature end to its design life.
  3. The levels of deterioration observed in the structure is not consistent with the age of the structure. Therefore it can be concluded that some form of urgent intervention is required to improve the structural capacity of the structure.

Based on the report so far, things really don’t look good for this Administration. But let’s take a look at a few of its “major findings”, before we condemn it for negligence.

“The major findings are as follows:

  • -Catastrophic collapse of the roof structure is possible under extreme loading or through the continuous deterioration of the structural members by corrosion
  • -There has been lack of maintenance of the roof structure
  • -The constant shedding of degraded materials from the roof structure represents a hazard to human life

And those are just a few of the major findings. You know what? Shame on the UWP Administration for ignoring these recommendations. The SLMDA has been right all along. Clearly, there was an urgent need for . . .

Wait. What’s this? The above Structural Appraisal report was tabled in 2015! But where’s the proof? “Structural Appraisal Report Created 12-22-15” cited from . . . the Structural Appraisal Report.

So that would mean the Kenny Anthony led Labour Party was in office when the structural appraisal report revealed that “the constant shedding of degraded materials from the roof structure represents a hazard to human life”?

Surely, the kind-hearted members of the Labour Government, who have for months been condemning Allen Chastanet’s government for doing nothing about the hazardous conditions at the George Odlum Stadium, would in the 7 months they had left in office, after receiving this report, do everything they could to alleviate the suffering of the staff and patients housed in the George Odlum Stadium under these terrible conditions. Right?

Wrong! The Labour Party did nothing about the deplorable conditions because as usual it had no money. Or maybe it was just callous, a word it usually applies to the current administration over healthcare.

Yet today, Moses Jn Baptiste has the gall to continue to implore the Government to address the structural problems at the GOS given the threat the hurricane season poses. While in office however, and while believing that they would retain power beyond June 6 2016, the SLP, despite the impending hurricane season, and despite receiving this report which stated that “there is uncertainty in determining the structural integrity of roof structure when exposed to an extreme event such as an earthquake or hurricane”; did absolutely nothing to address the situation.

Criticism of the UWP over the amount of time it has taken to address the problems at the Stadium is more than fair; but at least they have done work and continue to do work at the George Odlum Stadium to help alleviate the problems there. (Even that was criticised too. But I digress!)

The point is, the SLP had more than enough time to do something about the report, yet they did nothing.

In addition to this, given the very apparent, deplorable condition of the Stadium and especially the roof back then, and also given the very “passionate” nature of the SLMDA’s criticism of the UWP government; surely its laundry list of public statements, press releases and threats of industrial action against the then Labour Government, would be a very long one.

Well, no it isn’t very long at all. In fact it’s non-existent. And this sort of double standard is why about half of the country does not believe the SLMDA is sincere in its criticisms and stated concerns (right or wrong) about the GOS.

For the record, the SLP when in power did nothing to address the situation at the GOS; and while the UWP has taken its time, it has at least done something. Yet, the SLP went without public shaming at the hands of the SLMDA, while the UWP has been put through the ringer.

That is hypocrisy and inauthenticity to the highest degree!

And while some may argue that the SLP only had 7 months while the UWP has had 2 years, the fact is that although the appraisal report was requested and tabled in 2015, it never stated that 2015 arrived and voila! Conditions all of a sudden became untenable.

No, these conditions were present for some time before 2015 and the Labour Government did nothing. In addition to that, the SLMDA said nothing about it. At least not publicly and what makes it worse is that they have been the leading voice over the St. Jude’s/GOS issue over the last 8 months; while a different Party is in Office. Hmmm…

I remember the SLMDA’s first press conference about this issue; it couched its criticism by saying that this isn’t politically motivated.

It did so because it knew that everyone was going to put 2 and 2 together, and realise that the GOS had been in a bad way long before Allen Chastanet, and so ask, “why now?” They knew those questions were coming, so they preempted them by stating that their criticism isn’t political.

But the sad reality is that “POLITICAL” is written all over the SLMDA’s face now.

Take a look at its stance over the death of Curtis Marius claiming that it was due to the absence of a dialysis machine and an ER at the OKEU, in yet another thinly-veiled swipe at Chastanet’s government.

We’ve been told to believe them over health issues because they are “professionals” and thus they know what they’re talking about. Yet OKEU Consultant Nephrologist Dr. Merle Clarke, another health professional, said this: “I disagree with the SLMDA’s stance on this particular position!”

Why in her professional opinion did she disagree with the SLMDA over this question? After describing Marius’ cardio pulminary arrest and the subsequent hour-long CPR performed on him, Dr. Clarke put it simply: “Even if the patient had crashed 10 feet away from an Emergency Room, that is what you had to do. Get a flat surface and start CPR. So I disagree completely with the notion that just because we don’t have an Emergency Room that this patient passed. That is false categorically!”

Pretty strong words from the doctor, who clearly doesn’t believe the SLMDA, when politics clouds its judgement and neither will I.

It is fair to say that the UWP has taken too long to address the conditions at the GOS. What is not fair is to lay the blame entirely on their shoulders. What isn’t fair, is to publicly criticise them for the very things you failed to criticise the previous Administration for. What isn’t fair, is to blame them for the death of a patient, while using the weight of your position to convince the Mob that this is true.

The SLMDA has unwisely politicised healthcare in this country, the very thing it accuses the UWP Government of doing. It has been compromised and has de facto become a prominent wing of the Opposition party. Many no longer believe what the SLMDA has to say on healthcare (whether true or false) and that is a shame. It’s even been reported that there is even division and contention among its members!

I think the only solution to this standoff is for the SLMDA executive to proverbially fall on its sword, resign its position and allow the election of a new executive; so that whatever valid criticism of this Administration is postulated by it, may be credible in the eyes of the general public and in the eyes of all of its members.

After all, it is clear to all that the present SLMDA is suffering from a serious case of Red Eye!

18 Comments

  1. yes
    September 15, 2018 at 7:07 am Reply

    I do not think this has anything to do with what party is in power and who did what. Simply the SLMDA are getting fed up. A drastic change is needed immediately.Enough bickering..

    1. Zeigy
      September 15, 2018 at 7:15 am Reply

      And they intend to do this by campaigning for the Labour Party? Kenny Anthony botched the construction of the new St. Jude’s hospital among many of his large undertakings. This is not an easy matter to resolve. You have a hundred million dollars to spare the government?

    2. Eh bien bon
      September 15, 2018 at 8:42 pm Reply

      Clearly George eyes are jaundiced (yellow) eyes.

      1. Eh bien bon
        September 15, 2018 at 8:45 pm

        Clearly George has jaundiced (yellowish) eyes.

  2. Zeigy
    September 15, 2018 at 7:09 am Reply

    A very balanced take on the matter. SLPMDA needs a new executive of sane people.

  3. Lovely Lady
    September 15, 2018 at 7:25 am Reply

    Laba had seven months but UWP has had had 2.5 years. Anyway, why would Laba spend money to fix the stadium when St. Jude hospital was nearing completion? Had Laba remained in office then St. Jude Hospital would have been completed long ago and the patients would have been transferred. The problem is that UWP had to move ahead to complete the Hospital and make any alterations that were necessary. They committed a cardinal error by spending millions on an audit whilst the stadium continued to deteriorate and the completions works on the hospital were halted. The UWP first said St. Jude Hospital had to be demolished, afterwards they said it was be used to house a medical school. All of this was being bandied about whilst the stadium continued to deteriorate. They clearly had no plans to complete St. Jude Hospital! The UWP has demonstrated a great degree of uncertainty and indecisiveness as concerns St. Jude Hospital. No matter how the facts are analysed, they are responsible for the current state of affairs concerning St. Jude. They have no excuse for not continuing St. Jude to its completion after they got into office, this should have been a PRIORITY! Had they done so, that hospital would have been functioning a long time ago and they would have spared themselves the current debate on the issue. Despite the SLMDA’s position, the UWP put itself in the line of fire by the position that it took that have caused St. Jude Hospital to remain incomplete to date. We must face the facts, no matter how much we support our parties. Where they are wrong we MUST admit it. After all every wrong decision made by a government in power will affect the people and the economy. We must give credit where it is due and likewise place the blame where it belongs.

    1. Vibz
      September 15, 2018 at 10:46 am Reply

      Very well said, Lovely Lady. Your unbiased and thoughtful analysis of the present healthcare crisis and current affairs in the country is commendable. This is what is wrong with the Chastanet-led administration. Instead of outperforming their predecessors by making good on their promises of fixing and improving all that was wrong when the UWP was in opposition, they are now playing the blame game. Should the SLP share some of the blame for the present mal-conditions of the country? Of course! This current government has allowed these conditions to deteriorate by their vacuous policies and preposterous behavior. Healthcare, national security, veracity and confidence in our public officials, just to name a few. This administration has to stop driving and looking in the rearview mirror. Performance matters. Playing the blame game will bring no significant comfort or improvement to the people’s current wretched and miserable lives

    2. Zeigy
      September 15, 2018 at 2:15 pm Reply

      If we would actually start debating the real issues regarding why the this project has not been completed yet, maybe we would have had a solution everyone could agree on by now.

      Labour supporters like wasting money so much they say, “Finish the hospital!” Not realising it will cost less to bulldoze down the old hospital and start from scratch than it would cost to finish the monstrosity that got built with no one paying attention to the project.

      Why do we not have a name for the project manager in charge of St. Jude’s Hospital’s reconstruction so we can ask him why the project turned out so poorly? You can’t have a person like that in leadership positions if he is so vulnerable to political meddling. Or maybe it was someone on SLPMDA which is why they are so vociferous about attacking and making this a political issue.

      The fact is that none of this would have happened if black people didn’t do things in a half-assed way while wasting public funds. We really deserve our economic hardships.

      They say black people don’t sponsor their own. I had to bring two pairs of pants to the tailor to mend. After wearing each item twice the repairs failed and required I bring it back within two weeks. The second time he charged me again. And in the back of my mind I was thinking had I just bought a new pair of pants from the Syrian, I would have paid less while getting a superior product.

      Had this tailor just done the work properly the first time I would have had the confidence to give him more work. Maybe the prospect of being paid to do more work didn’t sit right with him. Black people, we are our own worst enemy.

  4. Lovely Lady
    September 15, 2018 at 7:38 am Reply

    Laba had seven months but UWP has had had 2.5 years. Anyway, why would Laba spend money to fix the stadium when St. Jude hospital was nearing completion? Had Laba remained in office then St. Jude Hospital would have been completed long ago and the patients would have been transferred. The problem is that UWP had to move ahead to complete the Hospital and make any alterations that were necessary. They committed a cardinal error by spending millions on an audit whilst the stadium continued to deteriorate. The UWP first said St. Jude Hospital had to be demolished, afterwards they said it was be used to house a medical school. They clearly demonstrated no intention to complete the hospital. if they had they would have spared themselves this debate. They kept going back and forth as to the future of St. Jude hospital whilst the stadium continues to deteriorate. The UWP has demonstrated a great degree of uncertainty and indecisiveness as concerns St. Jude Hospital. No matter how the facts are analysed, they are responsible for the current state of affairs concerning St. Jude. They have no excuse for not continuing St. Jude to its completion after they got into office. Had they done so, that hospital would have been functioning a long time ago. We must be objective in our analysis of the facts no matter out party colours. Every decision a government makes that impact the economy and the people will have either positive or negative repercussions. No matter the stance of the SLMDA, the facts speak for themselves.

  5. Lovely Lady
    September 15, 2018 at 7:44 am Reply

    St. Lucia news online, you guys are partisan. i realise that you guys reject my comments. You people ought not to be in media, you all lack objectivity!

  6. Alvin
    September 15, 2018 at 7:54 am Reply

    Very well written. Sad but true. Alphonsus has his own agenda and is using the Slmda. Get some eye drops fast.

  7. Mark Hennecart
    September 15, 2018 at 8:13 am Reply

    Shame on you St Lucia Times News!

    You have allowed this “George whoever -a yellow-bellied coward” to use your medium to spew such partisan diatribe: Diagnosis Jaundice, that is!

    1. Alvin
      September 15, 2018 at 7:22 pm Reply

      Mark. You are not credible. So please refrain from commenting. Why didn’t you speak out together with the SLMDA in 2015? Oh yes. You were working in the background. Well stay in the damn background.

  8. Rude
    September 15, 2018 at 8:39 am Reply

    George I hope you request a transfer to at Judes if you fall sick tomorrow or your family.

    Party Hack

  9. Bob
    September 15, 2018 at 9:16 am Reply

    If labour was in office the hospital would be finish ne now ? labour said the same thing in 2011

  10. Paul
    September 15, 2018 at 10:04 am Reply

    The condition of the stadium today is much better than what it was before 2015. If this was a matter of urgency as is being pushed by the SLMDA seven month is sufficient time to deal with the problem of the stadium. In all you challenges why did you never bring up the 2015 structural appraisal? Is it because the Labour Party did nothing about you kept it a secret?

  11. Vibz
    September 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm Reply

    SLT, are you now colluding with a particular political party to censor non-controversial comments?

  12. tony
    September 16, 2018 at 4:58 pm Reply

    Well said lovely lady. Nothing more to add or subtract.

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