Letters & Opinion

St. Jude Hospital: Provide Answers, Not War

Image of an incomplete St. Jude Hospital

THE SLP went on the defence October 8, 2017 in light of its poor performance both at the polls and after fifteen years in office. Instead of defending the parlous structure of St. Jude, the former P.M. needs to wage a holy war against the persons responsible for squandering $180 million of tax-payers money and grants. THESE ARE THE REAL ANSWERS THE PUBLIC WISH TO HEAR.

Despite all the allegations that St. Jude has been over-politicised, one cannot deny the fact that most medical professors and engineers who physically visited the site were stunned by their observations and findings of an institution as important as a hospital. The former Prime Minister was and remains the Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South, so there is no excuse why the former P.M. could not have had any inkling as to the ongoing status of St. Jude over a four-year period.

Additionally, the Parliamentary Representative was the Minister of Finance and should have had some knowledge of the outflow of expenditure in return to the progress, as a project of that size and nature could have easily been completed in no less than eighteen months. It is indeed a sad story that after nine years with all the assistance rendered locally and abroad, the nation remains without a decent facility.

One can truly understand the former P.M.’s disappointment at the outcome of the audit and the reality of the facility, but taking the alternative route of waging warfare against the present administration for simply notifying the public of the reality is most disconcerting. We are aware that the former P.M. does have a short fuse when any blame or criticisms are levelled at him, but he must understand that the buck stops with him.

His veiled threats are nothing new and St. Lucians are accustomed to those senseless comments as some years ago he indicated that he would advise investors to stay away from St. Lucia. The former Prime Minister must accept the fact that a change in administration has occurred and the new administration will operate differently and no amount of threats will alter the date of the next election.

On the other hand, the repeated comments made by Philip J. Pierre are so childish that it simply becomes laughable. How many times have we heard the word ‘vindictive’ being uttered by the opposition simply because prudent decisions are made not in sync with those of the former administration?

The former administration embarked upon an $80 million administration building in the South some forty-five days prior to an election when a three-storey structure in the heart of Vieux Fort town owned by NIC remains vacant. Thank goodness the development was stopped as without DCA approval, this may have been another white elephant. Should the public not be aware of the facts? Why borrow another $80 million when the services to be rendered can easily be carried out in the town structure?

Instead of the SLP wasting their energy on demonstrations, they should consider putting some of that energy towards finding the drawings for the St. Jude Hospital which cannot be found. A positive step of such a nature would help both the SLP and St. Lucia.

– By Oswald Augustin

1 Comment

  1. Mr Augustin please ascertain the facts before spreading misinformation. A complete set of drawings are at the DCA. Application No 164/16. DCA will not accept an application unless all relevant drawings are submitted as part of the application. Get your facts right!

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