State­ment by the St. Lu­cia Med­i­cal and Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion (SLMDA) on the St. Jude Hos­pi­tal Re­con­struc­tion Project and the OKEU Hos­pi­tal

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - Dr. Alphon­sus St. Rose Pres­i­dent (SLMDA) Con­sul­tant Physi­cian (In­ternist & Gas­troen­terol­o­gist) Phone: 1-758-5183111 Email:

The St. Lu­cia Med­i­cal and Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion is dis­turbed about the cur­rent “State of Emer­gency” re­gard­ing health­care and our na­tion’s health­care in­sti­tu­tions, par­tic­u­larly Vic­to­ria and St. Jude Hos­pi­tals. This is a mat­ter of grave con­cern as it is the place where we are ex­pected to de­liver ad­e­quate and qual­ity health care to the public. The mix of re­cent com­ments by public of­fi­cials amidst the wide­spread public de­bate and en­su­ing con­fu­sion is ex­tremely trou­bling to say the least. To date, a de­fin­i­tive de­ci­sion has not been pre­sented on an is­sue of such crit­i­cal and na­tional im­por­tance. The ex­ist­ing hos­pi­tals are in a most de­plorable and un­ac­cept­able state of oper­a­tion, with med­i­cal and non-med­i­cal staff un­der­stand­ably de­mo­ti­vated and morale at an all-time low. Notwith­stand­ing, our re­spon­si­bil­ity still re­mains the delivery of qual­ity health care to the public. Pri­or­ity must now be given to public safety and the wel­fare of health­care providers, as we can no longer tol­er­ate this un­sus­tain­able sit­u­a­tion. The cur­rent con­di­tions make it al­most im­pos­si­ble to de­liver the qual­ity of health­care the public de­serves and is en­ti­tled to. As a trade union and a pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tion, SLMDA has a duty to guar­an­tee com­pli­ance with oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety stan­dards at the work­place for its mem­bers and the public alike. At present, all the ci­ti­zens of this coun­try have, af­ter eight years of con­struc­tion and three ad­min­is­tra­tions, is a St. Jude Hos­pi­tal Re­con­struc­tion Project in the south, now in a one year pause mode, at 50% com­ple­tion, with a sup­posed cost of $118 mil­lion and a com­pleted but not yet ac­ces­si­ble OKEU Hos­pi­tal in the north. The public con­tin­ues to wait for a mod­icum of de­cent health care with in­creas­ing anx­i­ety, while di­min­ish­ing con­fi­dence and dis­trust in the present health care sys­tem re­mains deeply rooted. Equally, civil so­ci­ety has now got an awak­en­ing of sorts to rec­og­nize that we must take re­spon­si­bil­ity in some mea­sure for where we are to­day. The SLMDA calls on the Govern­ment of St. Lu­cia to act de­ci­sively and re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­solve this cri­sis by im­ple­ment­ing the tran­si­tion of ser­vices from Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal to the OKEU Hos­pi­tal soon­est and com­plet­ing the St. Jude Hos­pi­tal Re­con­struc­tion Project in a time and cost spe­cific man­ner. This has to be a na­tional pri­or­ity, of ne­ces­sity. That said, the Govern­ment is also re­spon­si­ble and ac­count­able to the peo­ple of St. Lu­cia to give a trans­par­ent and un­bi­ased ex­plan­ta­tion as to what went wrong with these im­por­tant health care fa­cil­i­ties which have now be­come sym­bols of na­tional em­bar­rass­ment. The As­so­ci­a­tion is will­ing to lend its ex­per­tise as part of a mul­tidis­ci­plinary team to as­sist the Govern­ment of St. Lu­cia in solv­ing this ur­gent na­tional health­care cri­sis. Health­care is now a mat­ter of na­tional con­science and is pro­foundly per­sonal to every St. Lu­cian. Hence our com­mit­ment to rais­ing aware­ness on these is­sues by ad­vo­cat­ing for col­lec­tive so­lu­tions to en­hance the delivery of ad­e­quate, af­ford­able, ac­ces­si­ble and qual­ity health­care ser­vices to all ci­ti­zens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.