Letters & Opinion

The Future of the OKEU Hospital

img: Aerial view of the medical complex near the Millennium Highway with OKEU Hospital at the forefront.

AS the ongoing medical issues remain on the minds of many St. Lucians, the PM has consistently highlighted the fact that the opening of OKEU hospital requires $100 million more on the nation’s medical annual budget which presently stands at $120 million annually.

It does not take a genius to comprehend that unless that additional $100 million is secured, the OKEU hospital can only operate at a snail’s pace, which includes the opening of the dialysis center.

The PM has been exploring other avenues, including a private partnership plan supported by a medical insurance scheme, which would assist many St. Lucians in accessing minimum health care in keeping with basic human rights. We should further take into consideration that many St. Lucians are forced to travel overseas to seek health care, which is presently unavailable on island while on the other hand if a decent private arrangement can be secured, citizens would now have the option of obtaining treatment locally rather than going abroad.

The individuals who are not in sync with any form of privatization need to present valid alternatives before criticizing the suggestions put forward. Are St. Lucians aware that our government is grossly indebted to the French government for medical services rendered in Martinique, causing the French administration to revisit their ongoing benevolence in health care services?

A contributor to News Spin on March 6th 2018 made reference to foreign investors within our hospitality industry and other services like WASCO, therefore, it is not unusual for the current administration to visit such avenues and bring our medical service to an acceptable level. We are living in an ever changing world and new approaches must be revisited to keep abreast with the minimum technology required in this part of the world.

On a final note, limited research on the cost of health care in the US and UK will reveal the ongoing insurmountable challenges especially with the Obama Care policy which cannot be unraveled despite the monumental efforts by Mr. Trump and his Republican Party despite their control of both the House and the Senate.

Hopefully, St. Lucians will one day realize that procrastination of health care is not an option, as year after year we have only witnessed false promises and our PM is on target to change the future and status of the health care situation here.

Political Observer

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