Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has said that it has always been the position of the government to have a medical facility close to the island’s main airport in Melville Hall.
He was responding to a visiting Dominican at a Diaspora Forum on Tuesday who raised concerns over the lack of a hospital close the airport.
“If a plane lands and there is a mishap, we can lose a number of lives if we don’t have that facility,” the visiting Dominican said. “So we can build a big hospital in Roseau but it will take too much time to get to Roseau to get medical attention. It is very important for the government and the people in government see that as a very important thing to do right now. It’s not like you can put it on a side for later. It doesn’t have to be at the Marigot Hospital but it has to be in the immediate vicinity.”
But Skerrit said the position of the government has always been to have a medical facility in the area.
“It has always been the position of the government that you need an improved medical facility in close proximity to the airport, not only provide for increased health care services to the Marigot Health District, which spans from the Kalinago Territory to Calibishie, but in the event something were to happen, God forbid, at the airport,” he said.
He said there is no argument on that matter.
“There is no argument about this at all,” Skerrit said. “As a matter of fact, we have in the budget, as the minister would have indicated to audience present, monies for the design of that facility and we have taken a further decision in the cabinet, by the cabinet to outsource the engineering and architectural services in order expedite the process for the realization of the new health facility in the vicinity of the Melville Hall Airport.”
Skerrit said there are some people who are giving the false impression that the government does not like the people of Marigot.
“What some people have tried to do is to give the impression, which completely false, that this government does not like Marigot people, we do not like people from up there, this is just total nonsense,” he stated. “We believe, and I personally believe, as I articulated in public domains before, that Marigot has some of the brightest people in the country, resourceful. I think they need good leadership to harness those resources to the benefit of the people.”
The closest medical facility to the airport is the Marigot Hospital but it was recently shut down due to a severe mold and fungus infestation and the services relocated.