“Health care and party politics don’t mix”

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By Dr. Andre R. L. Matthew MD – 

Member & Former General Secretary, St. Lucia Medical & Dental Association

Practicing Physician

Concerned Citizen

When doctors put down their stethoscopes, fold and pack away their medical coats, the immediate casualties of their failure to report to work, are the people who need them most. Our sick men, women and children, asthmatics, epileptics, and babies dehydrated from gastroenteritis, are further afflicted when their caregivers are not present.

No one can deny that St. Jude’s Hospital, it’s staff and patients, are in need of urgent attention. The government must also listen to pleas from members of the public for improved dissemination of information, on disquieting issues like the OKEU Hospital and National Health Insurance. Yet, these shortcomings do not justify the threat to abandon the sick; choosing instead to stay home while they are left to suffer alone.

The executive of the SLMDA must steadfastly reject all partisan pressures and requests for political favors.  As physicians, our loyalty must always be, first and foremost, to our patients. Let us remember, “No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other“. Luke 16:13



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  1. I can’t believe our doctors are doing this. So sad they are thinking of abandoning their patients to prove a point. This is a new low for St rose and our nations doctors. There are other ways for them to help the medical sector. They need to send some of them to Africa for them to see the conditions real dedicated doctors work in. Sad day for the professsion of medicine. I hope all our right thinking doctors go to st Jude to help the day st rose and his fake doctors take strike. Let’s show we care for our nation more than ourselves. I am a nurse and I want to tell the Government the nurses stand ready to help when the doctors take their strike action. We are nurses and we just can’t stand by and let this happen

    • But here I am at Victoria Hospital where nurses are stressed out and calling in sick because of the uncertainty of thier jobs are causing them stresses. Hmmm….good luck with trying to be one of the 100 employees at OKEU hospital ……

  2. Anybody who is against the proposed action of the doctors is either a party hack or singing for their supper. People who have become patients of our islands hospitals can tell you that it is not a comfortable experience for a number of reasons . If we do not sort out health care then we are all in trouble. I am sure that if an emergency arises it will be all hands on deck but right now the health situation requires urgent attention. Even dr Matthews knows it. Unfortunately he has put politics above any oath he would have taken to offer the best service possible. Very sad man. In fact he disgusts me.

    • I am not against protest, but if you say you for the people of st Lucia, and have the nerve, to encourage Doctors to go on a seek out, and leave the people to suffer depend on the condition of the patient even death, there is a God above, no one can serve two master, if God be God serve, if Baal be Baal serve him,

  3. Gemma do not pick Africa as a place that has poor hospitals. The continent of Africa is far more developed than you have been told. And you are not a nurse because the nurses are having a rough time giving care at the hospitals. You are just another political operative

  4. If any of you have a sick loved one at the Hospital or know of someone is that what you are sanctioning? If you do.then you must be a party hack….one.

    Claude Paul th biggest party Hack have you’ll on an immoral role…God will judge all you who are in favor of this. Just remember that on the day they do strike you loved one may be in.need of urgent care. You never know what can happen.tomorrow today is all you have.

  5. This is clearly a very dumb article and I pity the writer. That a doctor can look at life so narrowly is frightening. Politics impacts most things in St.Lucia including health care matters. Where a problem exist, there is nothing wrong in finding a political solution if that is possible.

    • Eh bien bon, are you seriously this stupid or you do you feel like opposing just for the fun of it ? I think you and i read seperate articles. I will give you the benefit of the doubt. For i cant fathom your comment that the doctor looks narrowly upon life. A total opposite to what he spoke about. It seems you are misguided and ill informed as to the roles of the doctors. That is why you think they are within their right to challenge the goverment while putting st lucian lives at risk. These same doctors made a big scene when the dialysis patient passed away, now they are willing to abandon their offices all to make a political point. The concern which they displayed towards the dialysis patients family was cowshit.

  6. When the medical health care personnel lower down their coats etc. That means they are under presure and they can’t take it no more. You can have the best health institution with the best doctors; and no supplies or instruments , you are nowhere, because the health care personnel are suffering and is under constant pressure. there is no politics in health care, people have to say what is affecting them, and some one has to be blamed! not the health care personal!.

  7. Is this the same Dr A Matthew who was going you for UWP and trying to obtain the position of deputy political leader?
    Healthy Politics, Health Nation. Remember 2016 elections on The Star Newspaper???? Oh how people talk when it suits their politica gain!

  8. It is a sad day when doctors have been forced to put down their tools as they believe that the current situation is untenable ar SJH. Never in my lifetime have i ever witnessed the SLMDA downing their tools. It is hippcriitical for anyone who has been listening to news in st lucia over the past six month to suggest that the SLMDA did not explore every oppotunity to avoid this course of action. They have submitted countless proposals to ensure that their members and patients have a conducive environment to operate it and be treated in. In judging the actions of the SLMDA we must be clear who has the responsibility for resolution of this matter. In most businesses the responsibilty for rectifying problems in the physical building is the owner of the building or landlord which in this case is the GOSL. I find it very strange and unfair that not one comment has called on GOSL to resolve the issue. The core issue as i understand it subject to correction is that SLMDA has indicated that the evironment at SJH presents a health hazard to anyone who operates in there for an extended period of time. To say that they are being political should be based on scuentific studies such as air quality tests and other occupational hygiene tests to say that the environment is safe for all persons. It is in this context that I say that i find the comment of DR Mathew to be strange as it was not based on empirical evidence. Is he suggesting that doctors should continue work even if the environment presenrs serious risks to their health and patients.While i do not believe that Dr Mathews intentions are not honorable but i am disapponted that his criticism was not based on any scientific analysis of the environment ar SHJ whuch is a basic reqirement as a medical professional. It it is risky for doctors to offer opinions that on occupational health issues that is not based on iscuentific analysis. I live in the south and if i get ill then that us the place i will end up. There is nothing that disease like more than an unsafe environment with many pollutants and contaminants. The GOSL must take up their responsibilty and resolve the issue as it is no longer a question of difference in policy direction but rather a LIFE AND DEATH ISSUE for all including the nurse who posted above.

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