Residents of the Marigot and neighbouring communities have raised a number of concerns at a ‘community action meeting’ as it relates to the temporary closure of the Marigot Hospital due to mold and fungus.
The meeting was held at the Marigot Credit Union Conference Hall and MP for the Constituency, Lennox Linton said it resolved to demand urgent government action on the matter in a number of areas.
“There has to be an immediate relocation of the medical services to a suitable building in the Marigot community, such as the old Foundation High School which is presently under the management of the Youth Development Division,” he explained during a live interview on Q95′ The Hot Seat, “Secondly there has to be the immediate commencement of preparatory work for the construction of a new state-of-the-art national healthcare facility at Marigot at the same location to be funded by revenues collected from the economic citizenship programme and completed within 18 months.”
He added, “Also the meeting resolved that there have to be effective arrangements to ensure that no less than 75 percent of the expenditure on labour for the temporary relocation of the hospital and the construction of the new facility goes to residents of the affected area in general and Marigot in particular.”
Linton indicated that the participants of the meeting have adopted the language of “now”.
“They want it to happen now, and this should not be difficult for the government to understand having regard to the years of neglect that has characterized the way government has chosen to deal with this facility at Marigot,” he argued. “And so what the people are asking for is not rocket science, it’s not complicated, it is very simple. The people believe that they are entitled to a proper healthcare facility…”
Linton stressed is that the people are of the view that it is time for action and want to be clear that the government understands exactly what they want to be done.
He said residents lamented the quality of health care in the area.
“The meeting lamented the decline in the quality of healthcare at the hospital and the recent closure of the hospital, because of the very dangerous health and safety threats, the condition of the hospital are posing to patients and healthcare professionals alike,” he noted.
According to him, participants of the meeting were concerned about the severe economic consequences of operating a national airport with a proper medical facility in close proximity contrary to international aviation standards.
“The meeting thought there was a major risk there that the country wants to avoid,” he stated. “Residents in the affected communities, more particular in Marigot are significant contributors to the state and they are therefore entitled to the provision of vital services funded from the public purse and in that regard they must not be discriminated against.”
He also stressed that the meeting agreed that the rehabilitation of the Marigot Hospital is, “ a far greater national emergency than the $18.2 million destruction and reconstruction of a bridge in Roseau where there are four other functioning bridges facilitating access in and out of the capital city.”
He stated further that a pattern of empty promises, dishonesty, and blatant disrespect has characterized government’s response to the call of people from Marigot in particular for remedial action to correct the increasing failures in the delivery of proper healthcare at that facility over the past decades and this can no longer be tolerated.
Linton said a letter will be sent to Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit on Friday morning to address the matters raised at the meeting.
A press conference is being held on the matter on Friday morning by the government to bring the public up to date.
The Marigot Hospital was first shut down in 2014 because of a severe termite infestation.