The staff of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital has been praised for their “heroic” work, even as the government was criticised for the physical condition of the main public healthcare facility in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I have had some recent experience down at the hospital and everybody has their own stories to tell. And I tell the people who are there working, they are doing a heroic job. You got to take your hat off to them,” Opposition Leader Godwin Friday said at a recent virtual campaign meeting of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
Friday said that the staff is “attentive and kind and professional.
“But what they have to work with, it isn’t much,” he said.
“You see the state, the condition of dilapidation and of neglect at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, which is supposed to be our prime health care centre and you wonder how anybody who has overseen this for the past five years, 10 years, could have the gall, now that election is coming around, to put forward a plan that they say they’re going to develop and bring a modern healthcare facility to this country.”
The Unity Labour Party administration has said it would build an acute referral hospital in Arnos Vale.
Friday said that a functioning economy is important to the healthcare system.
“You cannot have a functioning healthcare system unless the economy works, and there is money to put into the healthcare system,” Friday said.
“You cannot have proper roads for taxi drivers or van drivers or truck drivers and all of our private vehicle owners, you can’t have them unless you have a functioning economy to fix them,” he said.
He said that the potholes around the country “tell you the state of the economy of St. Vincent and Grenadines.
“If they can’t deliver on the things that are obvious and visible to everybody, how can you trust them deliver on the things that you can’t see? And we’ve seen it all,” Friday said, referring to the government.
“What happened to the last 20 years? People weren’t suffering and dying? Is it that all of a sudden, you realise that the neglect, the years that have been wasted, have caught up to the administration. And they come and they say, ‘Listen, we are going to deliver this. Look at this grand shiny object. How can you take your eyes off it?’” Friday said.
“You must be dazzled by it. And they bring them every time because they want us to believe that our people are so gullible they don’t even know what is in their own best interest.
“That you come in the last election, they say they’re gonna put a tunnel under Cane Garden. Somebody must have had a tunnel in their head. When they see that they didn’t catch you, they said we can build a city at Arnos Vale — the bigger and the grander.
“Why? Because our people are foolish? They’re not. Our people, they are asking for things that matter in their life. They want to know that the road that leads to their house, they don’t have to take off their shoes on Sunday until they reach the church door to put on their nice shoes. They can walk from their home to church, because the road is paved,” the opposition leader said.