Health professionals view new SJH construction
by Miguel Mauricette, Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health and Wellness hosted an official tour of the St. Jude Hospital on Oct, 6. with the aim to provide health professionals a first-hand look at the newly built structure.
The tour comprised technocrats of the Ministry of Health, and medical practitioners and nurses from both the private and public sector; and was jointly led by Consultant Engineer Norman St. Ville, and the Minister for Health and Wellness, Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac.
The tour is part of government’s strategy to chart the way forward regarding the construction of the St. Jude Hospital, in order to allow stakeholders the opportunity to assess the structure and articulate their sentiments on the various features that they would like to incorporate into the final design.
“This group is here to get a feel of what the environment looks like, as they are one of the major stakeholders in this whole discussion and they have been left out throughout,” Minister Isaac said. “So we want them to be part of the process, and of course to educate other people about what they have seen and what their opinions are.”
President of the Saint Lucia Nurses Association, Alicia Baptiste, said there is a level of trepidation that the newly-constructed structure may not meet the requisite health and safety standards.
“I am disappointed because I expected that our nurses would be moving into a new structure, because we know that the stadium is compromised,” Ms Baptiste said. “This hospital is being built after a fire, but there is little ventilation, and not enough exit doors for our emergency personnel and patients, so that concerns me. While we need a hospital, we need to ensure that it is a hospital that goes by international standards and that our patients and staff are safe.”
Meanwhile, President of the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association Dr. Alponsus St. Rose said the situation is multifaceted.
“This is a very complex situation and it is too premature to say anything at this point, but it doesn’t look good. Something has gone horribly wrong and we need answers,” he said.
Work on the facility has been discontinued with no announced date for resumption.