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Government Denies It Plans To Amend Law At Next House Sitting To Privatize OKEU

Image: Aerial view of the Dr. Owen King-EU Hospital. [PHOTO: Bill Mortley]

THE Government of St. Lucia has denied a claim by the locally based non-government organization ‘Raise Your Voice’ that it plans tol proceed to parliament next week to amend the Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act No.1 of 2015.

Image of Nicole Mc Donald, Senior Communications Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Nicole Mc Donald, Senior Communications Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In an e-mail distributed to media houses on the island, Senior Communications Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister Nicole McDonald stated that all the information contained in the release by ‘Raise Your Voice’ was categorically wrong.

“This appears to be deliberately malicious in its intent to spread unsubstantiated accusations and hearsay which no responsible NGO should be engaged in,” McDonald said.

She said that government will issue a statement on “these constant false allegations and irresponsibility which has now come to be a norm with the ‘Raise Your Voice’ organization.”

‘Raise Your Voice’, in its press release, alleges that the Government of Saint Lucia will proceed to Parliament next week to amend the Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act No. 1 of 2015 from a Statutory Body of the Government of Saint Lucia, to facilitate full privatization of Owen King EU Hospital, the Mental Wellness Center (which it says will be used as a Medical University) and subsequently St. Jude Hospital.

“Further, it is alleged,” noted the press release, “that mental patients will be returned to their communities for community/family-based mental health care and those who are in need of hospitalization will be referred to Victoria Hospital.”

‘Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc’ says it “opposes in the strongest possible way the Privatization of the Public Health System and insists that privatization will result in the marginalization of vulnerable populations, such as women and children who are without the necessary resources to access health care.”

“We continue to call on the Government of Saint Lucia to open Owen King EU Hospital and complete and open St. Jude Hospital with haste,” concluded the release.

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