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Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Group applauds SLMDA’s position on Healthcare

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

THE Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VF4Cs) affirms its support for the position paper published by the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association outlining its vision for a quality and equitable National Healthcare System in our homeland, Saint Lucia. Indeed, the profound pronouncements by the SLMDA regarding the role of the OKEU and St. Jude Hospitals, and including Universal Health Insurance, provide a blueprint for the government to act with dispatch to make universal access to primary healthcare a top priority.

The VF4Cs noted with keen interest that the SLMDA, the legal representative of medical practitioners, in its position paper, brought specific skills, expertise, experience and resources to bear in recommending solutions to our current national healthcare crisis. The paper, in the main, is concerned with providing health-care for all, including the most disadvantaged sectors, the elderly, the unemployed, single parents and the poor of our society. It reveals the SLMDA’s readiness to find ways of addressing healthcare needs of all sectors within the broader national framework of affordable quality health care. The fundamental principle being espoused in the position paper, and one which the VF4Cs subscribes to, is that we need to establish a more accessible, a more affordable and a more equitable national healthcare system.

The enormous challenge of providing quality health-care can be met only by a partnership among all practitioners and the integration of services in the broad field of health. It is, therefore, important that the government listens, heeds the advice of professionals and pursues the commitment to shift priorities towards addressing the basic healthcare needs of our people. Listening also includes embarking on the process of consultation with all stakeholders and in particular the SLMDA which has pronounced on the development of a national healthcare policy thus far. This position paper by the SLMDA not only points the way towards addressing pressing healthcare needs but also social injustice, disregard for human rights and the eradication of the legacy of poverty and inequity that presents the greatest threat to our public healthcare system.

The VF4Cs remains proud to be associated with the collaborative Town Hall meeting with the SLMDA on May 11, 2018 which made presentations to the people of Vieux Fort and environs on the healthcare crisis in Saint Lucia. We loudly and profoundly applaud its courage, professionalism, conviction and philosophy as an organization and fully embrace its expressed commitment to put its skills, expertise and time at the disposal of the government and nation so as to ensure that affordable, equitable and quality healthcare can be made accessible to all St. Lucians. The provision of such a desirable healthcare system, it must be understood, is a basic human right of our citizenry and not the special privilege of a few.

Prepared by Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VF4Cs)

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