A St. Lucian-born retired Canadian soldier, who visits St. Lucia regularly, says he is frustrated with the tardiness in the completion of the St. Jude Hospital and vows not to donate any more money for its construction, until a satisfactory account is given to the public as to what has happened to the donations it has received from its various donors.
“I will not donate another dime for the construction of the hospital until the government comes clean on the matter and stop playing the blame game… I am very serious,” Ken Charles told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in frustration.
The St. Jude Hospital, which was located in Augier, Vieux-Fort, was destroyed by a raging fire in September 9, 2009, killing three patients. Since then, the hospital has been housed in the George Odlum Stadium, and has been deteriorating rapidly causing grave concern among staff.
Charles, now a yachtsman, said it pains him to see the condition under which staff at the hospital work and has called on the government to expedite work on the hospital.
“What happened to all the money St. Lucians, both young and old, have donated towards the construction of the hospital?” he asked.
According to Charles, who said his family has also donated towards the construction of the hospital, he was recently asked to make a donation to the hospital at its recent bazaar but had refused to do so.
“No more excuses…tell us the facts,” Charles advises government, adding that the forensic audit carried out on the hospital did not say much.
He said as a St. Lucian who was born in the south of the island, he is very concerned about the effects the tardiness in the completion of the hospital has on the health of St. Lucians, especially residents of the south.
According to Charles, St. Lucians have been taken for a ride by government officials, who in the past, have constantly promised them that the hospital will be completed at a particular date which never materialise.
Charles said he is not worried about his family, but for St. Lucians living on the island and who depend on the health institutions here to provide them with health care.
“It’s just frustrating…. St. Lucians deserve better,” he said.