Closure of St Joseph hospital a ‘travesty’

Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Dr Maria Agard has described the closure of the St Joseph Hospital as a travesty.

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman & Dr Maria Agard
Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman & Dr Maria Agard

“I feel that we have dropped the ball in allowing the St Joseph Hospital not only to be closed but to run into ruin,” Dr Agard told Parliament this afternoon.

The St Peter based medical institution was first closed in 1986 by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), which claimed at the time that the institution was losing money.

It was subsequently renovated and re-opened by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) after it came to power but another change in Government saw the BLP shutting the facility again in 1995.

In condemning the closure, Dr Agard, who admitted to having some respiratory distress, told the House: “Its closure I consider to be a travesty. I don’t even know who to blame for that,” she said, adding that the facility could have played a major role in the country’s push towards medical tourism.

“If you have had the opportunity to drive to St Peter, Mile-and-a-Quarter, and to traverse that property, it was one of the most aesthetic and serene properties in this country. And we could have used the
St Joseph Hospital to advance our interest in medical tourism and we failed to do it.

“So we speak very glibly about medical tourism and how we want to introduce it to this country and how it can do so much for Barbados and we had it in our hands, on our fingertips, and we dropped the ball,” the expelled member of the Opposition BLP charged.

In his contribution, Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman also took a swipe at the BLP, and in particular St James North MP Edmund Hinkson, following the medical institution’s closure over 20 years ago.

“They were able to close it down but as the Government’s landlord I am now looking to see how I can correct that. I think not only can it be a good private hospital again, but it can also be a good teaching private hospital and I am hoping that the honourable member for St James North, seeing that it is pretty close to his constituency, that he will help me in finding a good person or entity to open that institution that his party would have closed in the north of Barbados.”

Kellman charged that the shut down had deprived many of educational and economic opportunities.

“An institution like a hospital in a green area can create real economic growth in a country,” he said. 

   

  

  

6 Responses to Closure of St Joseph hospital a ‘travesty’

  1. Daniel Red Man Clarke
    Daniel Red Man Clarke May 4, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Wonder if all the DLP lovers that always talking about money wastage etc. of the BLP would remember the millions that went “missing” from this project . Even so much that they had an enquiry and all. All like now this should be up and running and taking some the strain off the QEH not lying as an eyesore .Pretty sure Mark, Ras and Co. will still find a way to blame this on the BLP .

    Reply
    • Mark Fenty
      Mark Fenty May 4, 2016 at 6:27 am

      But why wouldn’t the DLP proponents for feel as they do about the BLP, because lets face it: the BlP has a pretty good track-record of pappropriating the public coffer for they personal use. Remember prior to Barrow’s death he changed the BLP trajectory didn’t he?

      Reply
    • Daniel Red Man Clarke
      Daniel Red Man Clarke May 4, 2016 at 6:32 am

      There is a big difference between making a bad financial decision that cost more in the long run than antisipated or failed than outright tiefing. All the hospital money get carry way full stop. Won’t expect you to remember that seeing as you DLP don’t even remember how you lost the last election You were not the Mark I was speaking about just to clear that up.

      Reply
  2. Henderson Cheltenham
    Henderson Cheltenham May 4, 2016 at 7:29 am

    To think that the blp had more of a chance to reenergize it and refused especially when it was in the constituency of the PM

    Reply
  3. F.A. Rudder May 4, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Good suggestion made on having the medical institution St. Joseph’s Hospital brought back into the medical services practice on the island but here’s one thing that’s overwhelming and that is; the area has to be decontaminated, wall and buildings refurbished which is as expensive as building a completely new facility. This hospital if brought back into service should be utilized as a trauma and emergency specialized institution serving the Northern parishes along with the poly-clinics.

    Reply
  4. Sam Clarke May 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN STILL OPEN TO TAKE MUST NEEDED PRESSURE OFF OF THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL. IN ADDITION, IT WOULD HAVE CUT DOWN THE RESPONSE TIME OF THE AMBULANCES, AND BETTER SERVE THE NORTHERN PART OF THE ISLAND.
    IF THEY CAN’T RUN THE QUEEN ELIZABETH AND ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL, WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT GETTING INTO MEDICAL TOURISM?
    MEDICAL TOURISM IN BARBADOS WILL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL IN BARBADOS, IF GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED, PERIOD.
    MEDICAL TOURISM TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN BARBADOS, WOULD HAVE TO BE RUN BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR, AND GOVERNMENT CAN PROVIDE THE NECESSARY TAX CREDITS FOR THE INDUSTRY TO GROW.

    Reply

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