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Could the Findings from SJHRP Review Committee Lead to Court Hearings?

By Marvlin Anthony
Health Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste
Health Minister, Moses Jn Baptiste

Health Minister Moses Jn Baptiste yesterday hinted that the findings of a five-member committee hired to review the St Jude Hospital Rehabilitation Project (SJHRP) might possibly lead to some form of justice.

The SJHRP was the main focus at yesterday’s Sitting of Parliament. Whilst the project has been a sore spot for most Saint Lucians, Jn Baptiste told reporters yesterday that investigations will shed much needed light on the situation.

The SJHRP has been a bone of contention between the current administration and the former United Workers Party (UWP) government, the minister said, adding that it is very important for the people of Saint Lucia to get the details.

According to him, the SJHRP has caused tremendous suffering to patients and staff employed at the hospital.

“Today I am sure you expect to hear new details about the St Jude Hospital Rehabilitation Project; why the project was suddenly stopped and certainly you will hear a lot about the processes which took place. I think it’s a very important day and there are a number of people who say why rehash the St. Jude Hospital complaints and why do we debate this in parliament. I think it’s very important because the people of Saint Lucia voted for the Saint Lucia Labour Party and part of the reason is because people felt that the last government not only delayed the completion of the St Jude Hospital Rehabilitation Project, but there are lots of things that happened and people are seeking justice,” Jn Baptiste told reporters minutes before parliament convened.

“I think it is very important for the public to get the details and for us to lay the report of the Review Committee in parliament so it can be made available to the public,” he added.

Whilst government has condemned the former UWP government for bringing the project to a halt, the health minister made it clear that government has taken a number of steps to continue works on the site.

“There are certain processes that require answers to be forthcoming (and) there are a number of things that require us to seek answers. We need answers for a number of things. It’s close to 300 million dollars of taxpayers’ money expended over a number of years… two buildings partly completed… misrepresentations and a lot of bluffing and so on. I don’t think the people of Saint Lucia will forgive any politician in the future. We talk a lot about these things and a number of things are not taken before the courts and so on and we are hoping that the investigations will lead to some form of justice,” the minister said.

Further, “we have criticized the last United Workers Party government harshly about the stoppage of the works at the St Jude Hospital Rehabilitation Project, but I think what is very important is for us to establish the fact that as a government we have taken a number of steps to continue the works and to reestablish the hospital at Augier. We have started work and we will continue, and we have not only started physical processes of cleaning and so on, but also the transition processes have started with the meeting of the steering committee and other consultations.”

The health minister also said that government will explain its decision to return to the old St Jude structure (the decision caused quite a stir on social media with many questioning whether it was the right decision).

“The most recent review committee did recommend that we go to phase one of the project which is really the former St Jude Hospital and to incorporate one or two buildings that were put on ground recently,” Jn Baptiste said.

“The recommendation is actually to not continue the new building which the last government started and we are going to spend time today to explain these recommendations. These recommendations are not coming from politicians, these recommendations are coming from professionals, engineers and so on; people who sat down and looked at the options and decided to advise the government not to continue with the latest structure which the last government erected at Augier,” the minister added.

2 Comments

  1. In a nut shell that’s what’s wrong with this sickening debate:- STUPID & DISGUSTING POLITICS.
    St. Lucia – a small Island, with small men with small minds and small attitudes:- perfect acts of stupidity.
    It puzzles me how a team of 17 persons, among them representing less than 2k people, some pulling here
    some pulling there, verbally abusing one another and the Country is going to hell. The sad part about it is
    something new that has never before tarnished the Island as much as it has before – RACISM.
    The killing of long time white residents of the Island; acts not only of robbery but some purely that of racism.
    I am certainly sure, the reason why the new and modern world class Hospital in the South was suddenly stopped is because the former Prime Minister who started it, is considered in the eyes of some members of
    the SLP as being a ‘white man’ and therefore ‘not one of us’. Some are hung-up on being sons of former Slaves; well good luck with that, the reparation money is being disputed while you’re doing the killing.
    It is amusing how a Minister is talking about Law Courts instead of talking about the completion of the new Hospital – knowing full well that no amount of upgrading of the so called original Hospital is any good, since the original building was not, and I repeat, not built as or for a Hospital, but as a war time health clinic, and its well known. The Clinic which sustained that fire is near impossible in a Modernly built Hospital, since the Specifications and Estimates, the Electrical, Mechanical working Drawings of that Hospital was Designed under modern principals. The SLP cannot fool everyone with their bluff, it is Racism and Politics; the hate and resentment of a couple of guys in the Cabinet, on a failed former P.M., a former Diplomat and one who bought the victory the last time. Good luck Guys, have a good day, ‘may the Island be Blessed with better Kinds’.

    1. Yes #The Fox you are so right!! Racism and politics is killing St Lucia. Unfortunately, while the SLP is labelling the former PM as “white” – so is KDA!! He is just as black, or just as white as Allen Chastanet. The people leading blind people!! The SJH should never have found itself in this mess – and what is the SLMDA doing about this dilemma – where is their voice? Drowned out by a set of “Myopic Misfits”.

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