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New Hospitals will make St. Lucia World Class

The New National Hospital
The New National Hospital

TWO new hospitals will be in operation within the next 12 months, and along withother initiatives undertaken in the health sector, they will transform health care in the country to world class standards.

That is the view of Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy as espoused in her Throne Speech Tuesday at the joint sitting of parliament.

The hospitals, costing over EC$270 million, are expected to be operable early next year, at the latest.

They are the Dr. Owen King-EU Hospital, located at Millennium Heights and the new St. Jude Hospital at Cantonment, Vieux Fort.

Both hospitals, said to be world class facilities, had been under construction for several years, six years in the case of St. Jude’s.

The Owen King-EU Hospital, though no longer under construction, is still not ready to open its doors to the public. Government, with assistance from the European Union (EU) is now up-skilling and training staff while installing specialized equipment prior to commissioning. It is the hospital that will replace Victoria Hospital. It is projected to be operational later this year.

Dame Pearlette said that the Millennium Heights Medical Complex Act has already been enacted. This, she said, provides for the management of the facility, which is similar to what obtains for St. Jude’s.

“My government is hopeful that St Jude Hospital will be ready for commissioning in early 2016. In this regard, we are grateful for the bilateral support provided by a number of countries, particularly the Republic of China (Taiwan), but also, most recently, the Government of Mexico,” Dame Pearlette said.

She said that by entrusting the management of public hospitals to Boards, a decision government made not too long ago, there will be improvements in the quality of health care at the various medical institutions in the country.

But she issued a warning to the various Boards stating that the government cannot be expected to pour millions of dollars into health institutions without accountability of expenditure and governance, or assessment of the quality of care offered by them.

“My government has therefore decided to establish an independent Quality Care Commission to regulate, inspect and rate the quality of service offered by all of our hospitals, both public and private,” Dame Pearlette said, adding that this model had been successfully tried in the United Kingdom.

“We hope to adapt that model to our circumstances. The Commission will undertake periodic reviews of our hospitals and health institutions and will assess the delivery of health care services by answering the following seven key questions, the first five of which are identical to that asked in the United Kingdom,” she said.

The seven questions to be asked: Are they (health institutions) safe? Are they effective? Are they caring?

Are they responsive to people’s needs? Are they well-led? Are they making the best use of the subventions made available to them by the State and are they faithful to the Acts that authorised their existence?

The last two questions, according to the Governor General, will apply only to public hospitals.

The government is now looking at ways in which it could derive income from the new medical infrastructure it has put in place. They have identified the opportunity to establish Saint Lucia as a preferred location for medical research and education.

“In this regard my government is presently engaged with Clifford Chance, a world renowned legal firm, to study the legislative and regulatory framework needed to transform Saint Lucia into a world class medical research centre,” Dame Pearlette said.
Clifford Chance, she said, has been commissioned to draft the legislation for consideration by parliament during the current parliamentary year.

7 Comments

  1. When will we learn? When will we learn?
    WE WILL NOT BE FIRST CLASS BECA– USE WE PUT UP BUILDINGS.
    We will be 1st class when we become disciplined! When we are punctual! When we become a decent people with a strong work ethic!. When we stop the corruption! When our politicians and leaders start to show results. When our politicians show the courage to do what is right for our people and stop the parasitical raping of the government treasury. When the parties stop paying off millions to their hacks and messing with the people.
    This is the same kokomackery we have heard for 15 years. Every year the promise of what will be spent and how great, splendid, magnificant etc, etc everything will be!

    $20 Billion spent in 15 years and nothing to show for it but more promises!

    What a joke!

  2. JOE/
    I do feel your angst however, in light of an optimistic renaissance I can only chew objectively the brilliance of your opening stanza as quoted below:
    “When will we learn? When will we learn?
    WE WILL NOT BE FIRST CLASS BECA– USE WE PUT UP BUILDINGS.
    We will be 1st class when we become disciplined! When we are punctual! When we become a decent people with a strong work ethic!. When we stop the corruption!”.
    In terms of the article, the core pieces that I take away for further digestion are the following:
    1- “In this regard my government is presently engaged with Clifford Chance, a world renowned legal firm, to study the legislative and regulatory framework needed to transform Saint Lucia into a world class medical research centre,” Dame Pearlette said.
    2. “My government has therefore decided to establish an independent Quality Care Commission to regulate, inspect and rate the quality of service offered by all of our hospitals, both public and private,” Dame Pearlette said, adding that this model had been successfully tried in the United Kingdom.

    “We hope to adapt that model to our circumstances. The Commission will undertake periodic reviews of our hospitals and health institutions and will assess the delivery of health care services by answering the following seven key questions, the first five of which are identical to that asked in the United Kingdom,” she said.
    3- “The government is now looking at ways in which it could derive income from the new medical infrastructure it has put in place. They have identified the opportunity to establish Saint Lucia as a preferred location for medical research and education.”
    Given the fact that the medical field was the only robust and still the best employment sector in the USA to weather the recent economic downturn and that its current govt bet all its chips on mandatory medical insurance for the entire population!!!!!
    Therefore, it augurs very well -as in the glass is half full- that the potential synergy of:
    a- a medivac hub at VFort International airport to serve both regional and international intake
    b- a medimarine ferry service for regional patients. The design of said medic ship must follow tri hull design and equipped with computerized stabilizers, and other state of the art navigational tech. VFort and possibly Soufriere harbors are ideal bases but in the event of hurricane Castries harbor or other non threatened patches of open Caribbean Sea can serve as temporary shelter.
    In closing, I feel that this medical paradigm is a late but most heartening testimony to the hard work , discipline and well earned respect for the St Lucia Nursing establishment. The exceptional perseverance to do more with less is especially embodied in the cadre of nurses serving in the politically and demographically tumultuous era of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Toss in the great brain migration , cold war hysteria, hot and cool Vietnam geopolitics, the fever pitch of de colonization of former European Colonies, etc. and the monocular view of St Lucia is that of an insignificant breakwater atoll between roaring Atlantic and gentle Caribbean bodies of salt water.
    These nurses held the battered fort of Fair Helen in much the same way the great gates and mighty walls of Troy kept Agamemnon and his allied armies of marauders-at bay.
    Perchance, the finest Lady of the Antilles may consider a series of Nurse reunions for the nurses of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and 80’s to certify their exemplary service for the nation. The synergy of said formal reunions can add depth of character and intrinsic motivation for those current and future nurses of the new medical complexes.

    Among the volumes of St. Lucia “legends” handed down by my outspoken uncles, one of my favorites, asserts that any man would tlay prone, pontoon style across a mud puddle /ravine so that a nurse could walk across cleanly.
    I pray that as a nation we honor our nurses daily -above and beyond n’est pas?
    Forward ever, nurses lead us into the renaissance.

  3. Indeed Joe it is a joke. St. Lucia needs good surgeons. No top surgeons in St. Lucia. Top foreign surgeons will not work in St. Lucia due to low wages, high cost of living and ridiculous prices for food.

  4. This article should have been titled: Will New Hospitals Make Saint Lucia World Class?

    The short answer is on their own they will not For starters they will not remain new foreve. And their impact will be determined not by their newness but by the standards of efficiency and the quality of the care they provide.

    The laws being developed by Chancery by itself will not do the trick. There is no indication in the article nor in the GG’s speech that these laws are being informed by any approved policy statement on healthcare and the contributions of these 2 hospitals to the goals of this policy.

    How will these hospitals be financed until they can finance themselves? What strategies will be used to generate the patient loads to fill the beds at these hospitals? Where will these health-tourists come from? What role will the Tourist Board and Invest Saint Lucia play in the future of these hospitals?

    Building a reputable health facility takes many things: it takes time; competent management at all levels; high-class health personnel; and money over the long term. Money for adequate and timely maintenance will be critical.

    Only when all of these come together will Saint Lucia have a high class health service.

  5. The Virginian
    Concise piece of critical thinking indicating a need for reliability construct for the article’s thesis.

  6. Construct Reliability demands a movement towards embracing /extrapolating and aligning Health DeliverY STANDARDS in every facet of protocol and operations of the new hospitals.
    Human Resources is a major stake holder and is is vital as an agent of change, integration and training.
    I believe St Lucia has what it takes to accomplish, exceed world class standards: PLANNING and strategic deployment of best practices and valid frameworks of systems operations are crucial:
    Let’s do it right the first time.

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