The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has accused the government of ‘callous actions’ in respect of health care in Saint Lucia.
The accusation came in a statement Wednesday by MP for Vieux Fort North, Moses Jn Baptiste.
Jn Baptiste spoke at a news conference.
His statement is reproduced below:
For nearly three years the government of the United Workers Party has, through its actions, deliberately caused patients, medical staff and other professional staff of the St. Jude Hospital to endure additional, avoidable suffering and frustration.
The government has over that time made confusing pronouncements and taken regressive actions; work was stopped at the hospital site , they threatened to demolish the hospital buildings, the Minister for Economic Affairs threatened prosecution and suggested prison time for people whom he has not named, the Prime Minister suggested that the hospital will go to a private firm, irritating and reportedly harmful roofing material was removed, without the adequate safety measures in place and used containers were retrofitted for use by staff .
Now, unannounced activities at the St. Jude Hospital site suggest that the patients and staff at the George Odlum Stadium will endure an even longer period of pain and suffering.
You will recall that around July 2016 almost three years ago, the government stopped works on the St. Jude Hospital, they declared that investigations would be conducted, almost one million dollars was paid to carry out an audit. Medical and engineering professionals called on the UWP Administration in loud voices, to complete the St. Jude Hospital and return patients and staff to the original site.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party notes that another hurricane season approaches and there is no urgency by the government to transfer the patients to the original St. Jude site even when the government has had funds, which was sourced by the last SLP government at its disposal. Instead, the government has initiated a process which will cause further delay and intensify the anxiety of patients and the general public.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party interprets the government’s actions as careless and without due regard, to the people who are suffering most. The Party remains adamant that the government should complete and use the original buildings which were used for years as a hospital.
The most recent actions of this government suggest that the UWP Administration is not interested in completing the St. Jude hospital and continue to hold the people of Saint Lucia in contempt. There is still no announcement on the use of the original St. Jude buildings and there has been no declaration by the government on the immediate actions which need to be taken to safeguard the patients and staff at the George Odlum Stadium.
All of that is happening while conditions at the Soufriere Hospital and the confusion relating to the La Ressource, Richfond and Anse La Raye Health Centres continues to affect the delivery of quality health care to our people. The answers to the reported privatization arrangements for the Owen King EU have all been arrogantly ignored by the government even as both medical professionals and the members of the public continue to plead for this government to provide answers.
The most important priorities of the government are plain to see and daily the Prime Minister continues to speak glaring untruths and use diversions to have the people of Saint Lucia, shift our focus from shameful handling of the deepening crises in healthcare.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on all Saint Lucians to continue to raise concerns about the callous actions of this government. The issues of healthcare affect all Saint Lucians and the government continue to display their callous and reckless actions while the people continue to receive less than adequate care because of the direct and deliberate decisions and inactions of an uncaring government.