COMMENTARY: A Moral Test For Saint Lucia Is Justice In Health Care

By Harvey Cenac

Our health care system in Saint Lucia is far from perfect, and therefore worth arguing that our health care services need a major overhaul, much like the current United Workers Party (UWP) administration.

Moreover, our health care system has reached a point of such calamity that the citizens of our great nation should call a travel ban for members of parliament who wish to travel for medical purposes and other health care related matters; until such time that St. Jude Hospital is certified by the appropriate authority and is open and operational by a specific date and significant steps are taken to address the health care crisis facing Saint Lucia.

The dispensation of health care has become a profession of injustice which may have likely sprung up from corruption and greed at the expense of the poor and the most vulnerable in Saint Lucia. Whatever the case, it is immoral for any government to deny inherent fairness and basic human rights of its citizens, in contravention of the United Nations human rights charter.  

One must understand that the basis of health care has its foundation in a theological motif that is rooted in love and benevolence. This has always been the motivation that has shaped health care.  In other words, it has been a theological concept of justice that our health care system has been based on until recently.

With this in mind, I call upon the faith communities:  Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism and others to recognize the need for justice as both divine and humanitarian and thus their extensive and necessary involvement in the national discussion.

Furthermore, of greater plausibility is that a social outlook on justice in health care serves as a regulative notion to frame the parameters for the development of policies for a modern system of health care that will better serve Saint Lucia.

In other words, the faith communities and civil society organizations must stand up against an unjust  administration in Saint Lucia, one that is treating the health of its citizens, and in particular the poor, rather inhumanly. This is an immoral pursuit that we can no longer overlook  and thus we cannot continue to stand aside and watch our brothers and sisters die at the hands of an unjust health care system.

We need an effective health care system that is accessible to all Saint Lucians. As the famous civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said   “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” 

To that end, the principle of justice is a moral test for our institution of government.  A health care system which lies in the virtue of compassion and gives rise to the intrinsic value of all Saint Lucians, regardless of economic status, is instrumental to human welfare and becomes an instrument of justice.

On the contrary, the non-moral consideration that is currently demonstrated in Saint Lucia’s health care systems proves that our political system, governance, and character is based on self-interest, corruption and injustice.

Therefore, in order to develop better best practices and an excellent health care system, we must understand the divine and human side to health care, and expect and demand that no government should treat the poor and the most vulnerable in society with disdain.

The institution of government right now in Saint Lucia is in direct contrast to the basic tenets of the UN – Universal Declaration of Human Rights and/or serving the needs of the working class on matters of health care and services. 

More importantly, a recognition of best practices and excellence in health care warrants a need for justice in order to make our health care system better. 

We as Saint Lucians, should not be afraid to stand on the side of Justice, because these values are in line with our divine values. For only when we do that which is right and just for the least in our society, will our nation prosper.

Let us do that which is right and just – Health Care Accessibility for All.


About Harvey Cenac: Harvey Cenac, Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) for Seed Foundation Inc. has over 15 years experience as an entrepreneur, coach, and strategic communicator. His background includes experience in the United States and the Caribbean. He is also the co-author of the book “Walking with Giants”.


  1. While I want to agree with Cenac on some of the issues raised in his statement, the most important to me is to make it mandatory for the present crop of doctors and some nurses at all the institution to be sent back to be trained and have mandatory set of hours of continued education before any contract is renewed. Having a new building alone which is needed in the case of St.Judes will not cut it. I believe we should have UWI be the body that gives us the final certificate for the new kids on the block or make it mandatory senior doctors and nurses actually supervise and I mean supervise and not telephone consultancy. Don’t tell me it is not happening because it does. The medical and dental association needs to step up. we are short changed by all the politicians and yes our own people.

  2. Health care was one of the subjects that top the lists in the 3 years old election campagne, especially by this regime; and here you are complaining 3 years later; so me aih Believe in them things again; because 2 years from now , ah stay in home!

    • Facilities for Healthcare today is much better off than over 3 years ago. That’s a fact. When we talk of healthcare we talk of a service. Good healthcare service can be provided under a tent and this depends on the service provided by the doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers. Yes I agree that the government should provide the equipment necessary to upgrade our healthcare service and this is what they have done for the past 3 year hence the improvement. A vast increase in the dialysis machine on island. modern x ray machine. Thought I would have seen a Dr. in Harvey Cenac but he seems like a overseas St Lucian wanting a job in politics when he returns home.

  3. The biggest disappointment to me so far has been the way this guys talked about healthcare and the urgency that this issue deserves during elections. Now 3 years later we are still discussing new construction plans. Construction was stop due to the vindictiveness of these politicians. Choosing instead to waste even more of taxpayers money on a forensic audit none of us have had the privilege to know the findings. How could this be right. Was this one individuals decision or was that million dollar audit a group decision. This money could have gone a long way in either bettering the lives of those who work at the stadium or further St. Jude’s construction. This has nothing to do with tourism which brings in money, so health care becomes an afterthought. Elections are near so health care is back in the news again. This is all planned to happen this way. We need to start smelling the coffee people. Remember these are some of the same people heavily invested in the tourism industry.

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