Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Why No Second Opinion?

IN life, you will find that whenever a big decision has to be made about an important aspect in our lives, one piece of advice that has always been sure-fire is to get a second and, in some cases, a third opinion.

If I go for a doctor’s visit and I’m told that I have a serious illness, before going into panic mode I will visit another doctor, just to be absolutely certain about the diagnosis so that I can take appropriate action.

If I want an evaluation of a house or a car, I will not just visit one agent, I will seek a second opinion. Heck, when buying clothes, I will look around a couple of times to see how and where I can get the best deal for whatever clothing item I’m searching for.

One more example: if I need legal advice on a significant matter, again, I will seek the advice of at least two to three lawyers so that I can know which route is best to take.

So can someone tell me why, oh, why, if this is the most basic level of common sense and advice that pretty much everyone should live by, why does our Prime Minister feel that he is the exception to this decision-making tip?

Is it because he is so wise that his decisions should not even be questioned far less require a second opinion? Or is it that his consultants are God-sent and their words are solid, irrefutable fact?

I mean, I would hate to think that this is the way that all his important decisions for the governance of the island are being made; although thinking about it now, this just might be the case. But the PM’s refusal to get a second opinion from the St. Lucia Historical and Architectural Society is nothing short of exasperating.

He went on to further establish his stance (which, in my opinion, is more stubbornness rather than a stance) by going on national television to state that he does not need a second opinion because the consultant, Norman St. Ville, is a professional.

Well, I’m sure many professionals have made mistakes in all fields that have proven to be costly, be it monetary or mortally.

Then there is also the ridiculous yet blatant scenario where a paid consultant is making claims that the building (the same building that was meant to be completed by 2011 and has since passed two administrations and has cost taxpayers a whopping $118 million) needs a further $100 million to complete and so it is up to the government to continue or demolish and start all over again.

Now I know that was a mouthful to read but let’s focus on the two main words — “Paid Consultant” — and let’s not pretend that this isn’t a similar scenario to one person paying another to do and say exactly what they (the paying party) wants said or done.

Now, I’m not questioning Mr. St. Ville’s credibility; after all, the man truly is a professional in his own rights and capacity. However, with the only options of either $100 million taxpayer dollars being spent to build, or demolishment, how much would it hurt to get a second opinion to see if, perhaps, there is a third and possibly even a fourth opinion? Because currently, the only two options royally suck!

It all just begs the question: what is the PM trying to prove and to whom?

Because this all seems so trivial! Everyone with eyes can see that this is nothing but a tit for tat game to the people in power and, on this occasion, I’m talking about this administration and the one before (SLP).

It is absolutely sickening how these supposed grownups, who have been tasked with running the business of the island, would rather sit down and compare sizes to see who is bigger, rather than do what WE the people are paying them to do: GOVERN!

Instead of completing the task already, they would rather unravel the works of the former administration. Yes, I believe the Kenny Anthony administration did it when they took over from the Stephenson King administration in 2011 and, after all the games, the tiny bit of work they managed to get done is now being unravelled in the same manner by the Allen Chastanet administration.

But I, like the rest of St. Lucia, especially Vieux Fortians, want to see this folly come to an end already whilst there is a need for accountability. I think, for now, the finger- pointing and blame game need to be paused so that the project could be completed because the current situation is getting nobody anywhere at all.

Meanwhile, the people of Vieux Fort are left suffering, languishing and dying with a stadium (or the “Hospitalium”, as it is now being coined) that is falling apart and the town of Vieux Fort remains a ticking time bomb, where in the case of a mass casualty event involving, say, the Hewanorra International Airport, there is no suitable hospital for patients to be taken to.

With that said, I am always very suspicious and so I will end by saying that I smell a rat with this whole talk of demolition because it all just seems too convenient that in the wake of the mega DSH project that is due to take up a massive chunk of the southern town, the hospital is now too burdensome to complete and should, therefore, be torn down. Hmmm, you can fool some, but you can’t fool all.

It is shameful and embarrassing on the part of the powers-that-be who sit back skinning teeth and globetrotting while the most vulnerable people continue to be ignored and allowed to suffer. But I just wish that for once good sense could prevail and the people could be given the hospital that they need and deserve.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...


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