Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre has questioned assertions that work is progressing on the reconstruction of St Jude Hospital (SJH).
The assertions about progress were made last week by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on his official Facebook page.
In making the announcement, Chastanet disclosed that talks are underway with several institutions for a medical university to occupy the buildings that were previously constructed.
“This will serve as a strategic move as it will allow both the hospital and the university to benefit from the services and opportunities of each other,” the PM stated.
Opposition leader Pierre said that his attention has been drawn to the claims that the SJH project is progressing and negotiations for a medical school in the buildings abandoned by the current administration.
“Are we supposed to greet that announcement with glee – and some may say – gratitude?Grateful if someone would tell Saint Lucians what is the ‘Progress’ since June 2016,” Pierre wrote on the official Facebook page of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
“Why did it take the government 3½ years to re-start work on St. Jude Hospital? Many have suffered because of poor and inadequate health care, and medical personnel have complained, but it took the powers that be over forty months to decide,” the SLP leader observed.
He asserted that so many questions are not being answered by those who use the word “progress” as a defense against transparency.
Among the questions Pierre posed was: How was the contractor chosen, considering the fact that the government had over three years to decide?
“Under no circumstances can that be considered an emergency that could not be tendered,” the Castries East MP stated.
He also posed a list of other questions:
(1) Who is responsible for the purchase (procurement) of steel and other building supplies?
(2) Is the building being constructed to standards fit for international accreditation? If so what accreditation body is responsible?
(3) What is the cost of the “new” facility?
(4) What is the cost of “revision of the internal layout of buildings”?
(5) Are local medical personnel involved in the process?
(6) How was it determined that the buildings on the original St Jude project are not fit for a hospital but good enough for a medical school?
“Surely our people’s health and our country’s resources must be taken more seriously. The answer cannot be the SLP did not complete St. Jude,” Pierre declared.