CASTRIES Southeast MP Guy Joseph has stated that Tuesday evening’s tragic explosion has a silver lining as it will surely serve as an incentive to accelerate the much-needed improvements to the island’s health sector.
Speaking after a radio interview on Wednesday afternoon, Joseph revealed that directly before the incident that had (at the time of going to print]) claimed four lives, he, along with members of Cabinet were engaged in a budget meeting discussing the said topic as well as financing for the impending opening of the Owen King Hospital.
The Economic Development Minister indicated that the incident had unwittingly lit a fire under the government and will now be a major driving force towards the betterment of sector.
Joseph said: “Because of the amount of money that is required in this upcoming budget, additional money is needed for the Ministry of Health to open the hospital. I know the Prime Minister said whatever we have to do, we will do it. But this hospital will open. And that happened before the incident. I think if there was any doubt in our minds, the incident gives us the impetus that we need to push forward and to make sure that nothing stands in the way of the opening of the hospital.”
Joseph also had high praises for medical and auxiliary staff at the Victoria and Tapion hospitals whom, he said, surpassed their call of duty to supply aid during the time of need.
He said: “I must highlight our medical personnel and our hospital staff, and I’m talking from the cleaners and the porters to the ambulance drivers. I mean, everybody did a phenomenal job (on Tuesday). Our nurses and doctors from all quarters, we must really say hats off to them. Under the very difficult circumstances and limited resources, they really did a good job…in attending to the persons who were injured. I think when we criticize them, we criticize them, but when we have to give them the praise, we ought to give them the praise. And I believe that the staff of VH and all those who came to assist deserve all the praises they can get for the job they did.”
So far, a definitive date for the opening of the new hospital has not been given.