Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton has demanded urgent action from the government of Dominica to address the situation faced as it relates to the Marigot Hospital and called for a national health care facility in the area.
He was addressing UWP supporters at an all-night candlelight vigil on Thursday evening on the Melville Hall main road as the controversy over the temporary closure of the hospital continues.
The hospital was shut down due to an infestation of mold and fungus.
“When the vital interest of people in a civilize world are affected they stand up and they demand action from the government that they pay to do their work and this is exactly what we are doing. We are standing up to demand urgent action from the government we pay to look about our interest, we are demanding urgent action on a national healthcare facility in Dominica,” Linton said.
He continued, “I know what we demand is going to happen because it is what it righteous and just, not just for this community but for the entire Commonwealth of Dominica, for the Caribbean and for the world.”
He argued that the people in the Marigot community have sat back patiently as good citizens and waited on the government to behave honourably and in the public interest, but haven’t received any satisfaction.
“Every time we have sat back and every time we have sat down and every time we have found reason for why they say we cannot do what we know they can do, and they are mandated to do, they have kicked us and kicked us and kicked us again,” Linton stressed.
He stressed further that this is disrespect to the people of Marigot and the surrounding.
According to him, the closure of the Marigot Hospital for the second time is an act of “criminal negligence.”
“You cannot tell me with all of the army of people that we have in the health service of Dominica, that we did not pay attention to the needs of the building to the situation of the building that it ended up termite infestation two years ago,” he remarked. “And now the same building that they have retrofitted downstairs to put the A&E and the Health Centre, the same building downstairs is affected by mold to the point where it is unsafe and unfit for people to be in it.”
He continued, “We are not going to lose sight of what is important for us, what we need in terms of the medical services that must be available to this area and what we need in terms of the infrastructure development that has been denied in this community for years. We are going to move forward.”
Linton is demanding that work should begin on construction of the Marigot Hospital “now”.
“The only language that we understand is the language of now,” he noted. “We understand that it will take some time to construct, we understand that it will take some time to put the plan together, that’s ok, but start the work now and while you are starting the work relocate this medical facility to a proper building.”
Additionally, he said, “Work to be done for the rehabilitation of this temporary facility and the work to be done for the new hospital, no less than 75 percent of the labour cost must remain in this community and more particularly in the Marigot village.”