OFFICE OF THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Crn. of High Street and Chisel Street
P.O. Box CP5304
Castries Saint Lucia, West Indies
Telephone: (1) 758-459-0466
Fax: (1) 758-451-6507
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IS ST. JUDE ON LIFE SUPPORT?
CASTRIES, Saint Lucia - Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Leader of the Opposition and MP for
Micoud North, Dr. Gale Rigobert, has voiced her concerns about the dire conditions that threaten
to cripple the operations of the nation’s hospital in the South. According to Rigobert, such
conditions, if not addressed immediately, can have serious implications for the lives, health and
safety of patients and workers alike.
Dr. Rigobert has learned that the hospital is cash strapped and has not been able to meet its
financial obligations. Information is, that both local and foreign vendors are refusing to honour
orders for general and medical supplies, and there are claims that even tissue paper is in short
supply, and commonly used medication such as Panadol and Tylenol are sometimes unavailable
and patients must source these elsewhere.
Dr. Rigobert has been informed that the constant malfunctioning of lab equipment means that
critical blood work (customarily done at the hospital) has to be done elsewhere, resulting in
unnecessary delays and potentially compromising the general health status of patients.
She’s been told, that among a long list of equipment that is not fully functional, are the washers ––
which means that on occasion linens must be transported to the Victoria Hospital in the North to be
laundered. More recently, the situation has gotten to the point where patients are reporting that
they are being asked to bring their own bed sheets.
Staff are lamenting that the problems that confront hospital employees and patients are fast
becoming unbearable. Reports are that in the last few months, poor plumbing and low water supply
have resulted in a water crisis forcing employees to carry buckets of water to service washrooms.
Hospital employees are bemoaning the fact that they are even forced to boil water to bathe patients
in buckets, which itself can be hazardous.
Concerns are rife that the fast deteriorating physical infrastructure of the George Odlum Stadium,
where the makeshift hospital is currently housed, cannot withstand even the slightest weather
system. Already, employees report, that it is not uncommon to discover bits of the hospital roof in
the yard. This is especially worrying given that we are now in the hurricane season.
Concerned hospital staff are at their wit’s end and fear for their health and safety, not to mention
the wellbeing and lives of patients. The Leader of the Opposition is calling on the Health Minister
Ms. Alvina Reynolds and the Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D Anthony to address this matter
urgently. Dr. Rigobert said the Government needs to hasten the completion of the St. Jude hospital,
which is evidently moving at a snail’s pace.
The staff of the St. Jude hospital continue to demonstrate their commitment to their jobs and the
clients they serve, but do so under very difficult circumstances. Medical staff warn that the present
conditions at St. Jude hospital do not lend themselves to an environment where adequate health
care can be given. Dr. Rigobert in reassuring the staff and patients of St. Jude says that she is
“committed to highlighting the plight of staff and patients of St. Jude and the residents of the South
and to ensuring that the Government makes the St. Jude hospital a priority”.
- ENDS -