Hos­pi­tal on Fire!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Star Re­porter

Not nearly as tragic as the no­to­ri­ous fire at St Jude Hos­pi­tal in 2009, the Soufriere Hos­pi­tal ex­pe­ri­enced its own flames on the morn­ing of Novem­ber 9, 2017. At around 3:14 a.m. a fire was re­ported to the Soufriere Fire Sta­tion and, ac­cord­ing to Fire Of­fi­cer Jn Bap­tiste, “The fire was ex­tin­guished and un­der con­trol within about ten min­utes.”

Ac­counts say that it was con­tained and con­fined within the med­i­cal records (fil­ing) room of the hos­pi­tal. No in­juries or ca­su­al­ties were re­ported. How­ever, filed records of pa­tients' in­for­ma­tion were sub­ject to flame and wa­ter dam­age. Al­though the fire did not cause dam­age to other re­gions of the hos­pi­tal, smoke spread to other rooms pos­ing the need for pa­tients to be evac­u­ated to Etangs Health Cen­tre.

The cause of the fire was not yet de­ter­mined by 10 a.m. Thurs­day morn­ing and the Soufriere Hos­pi­tal was yielded to the au­thor­ity of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force for in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The Min­istry of Health will as­sume the nec­es­sary as­sess­ments as soon as the po­lice force gives an all clear.

The Min­istry of Health has as­sured the pub­lic that there will be close part­ner­ship with other agen­cies, in­clud­ing St Jude and Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tals, for pa­tients need­ing ur­gent care sup­port, and the Minibus As­so­ci­a­tion to pro­vide trans­porta­tion ser­vices while the Soufriere Hos­pi­tal is out of com­mis­sion.

The Saint Lu­cia Labour Party also ad­dressed the in­ci­dent pub­licly on Thurs­day in a state­ment which read in part: “The Op­po­si­tion hopes that mech­a­nisms will be put in place by the Health min­istry to re­turn ser­vices to the Soufriere hos­pi­tal as soon as pos­si­ble so as to min­i­mize the in­con­ve­nience to the pa­tients, clients and staff of the fa­cil­ity.”

How­ever, Se­nior Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer Dr. Sharon Bel­marGe­orge noted on Thurs­day, “The Min­istry of Health is ask­ing res­i­dents of Soufriere to be pa­tient while we work to re­store ser­vices in a timely man­ner.”

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