Saint Lucia’s Health Minister has urged citizens to ’embrace’ the opportunity offered by the visit here of a United States hospital ship which will be offering free medical services.
The US Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort is due to be in Saint Lucia from September 23 to October 2, 2019.
The vessel will be anchored just outside Port Castries and two ‘walk in’ clinics will be set up at the OKEU hospital and National Cultural Center, to provide general clinical services.
The Ministry of Health has embarked on several public awareness initiatives aimed at allaying public concerns about the the visit of the hospital ship.
Health Minister Mary Isaac told reporters Thursday that Saint Lucia is not the first Island that the vessel will be visiting.
Senator Isaac also pointed out that it’s not the ship’s first visit here.
“I don’t understand what all the negative publicity is about,” she declared.
“This is an opportunity for us to assist our people who are not able to get health care and it is for free,” Isaac observed.
“I want to say to the public out there that this operation is a welcome operation – it is one that they should embrace because we are getting an opportunity to get good standard of care from volunteers from a country that cares about the Caribbean region,” the minister stated.
She asserted that the hospital ship will provide good quality health care.
“It’s going to be done quickly. You get your results right away – they’re only here for six days; so it is a good opportunity for our people to embrace,” Isaac explained.
In terms of after care, she expressed the view that Saint Lucia is quite equipped to do that.
“We have a lot of Wellness Centres throughout the communities and of course that is going to relieve a lot of the stress we have right now on the Victoria Hospital and the St Jude Hospital.’