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Letter: Tearful Asymmetry - Mas in De Hospital
Published on August 18, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Empirical studies have shown that the wealth of a nation depends upon the health of that nation. This is true for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), too. So, I was taken aback when I heard the PM say that their survey shows only a small percentage of the people are concerned about health care and that the issue was ranked sixth on their priority list. Did he read the late Oscar Allen’s letter?

Is this guy fo real? He has gotta be kidding! It is no surprise he placed a novice as minister of health in the revolving door of that department.

The health care system is an essential part of the nation’s development. Therefore, leadership of this crucial agency is paramount. However, what we get are excuses after excuses and shifting blame. All we have heard is: “I didn’t know the hospital was out of medicine,” “The doctors and nurses are stealing the supplies,” and “Jumbie (spirit) leap out of the cemetery and stole the supplies” to highlight a few of the oddities.

The latest idiosyncrasy is that the hospital administrator is on the radio boasting about a state of the art morgue, like the ones you see on TV. As calypsonian Poorsah said, “All ‘me’ eye water done!” Too much bawling for the state of my nation!

This is what we have come to in SVG with health care, propping up a morgue! On the other hand, the lack of medication and supplies do not seem to bother the said hospital administrator. Or the leaks in the roof of the hospital. It’s a crying shame when the minister of agriculture's son has to be flown out to fix a broken arm due to lack of plaster-of-paris in the hospital. But we are boasting about a refurbished morgue.

Go figure! I thought they said we had a second-to-none hospital in SVG. Is that the reason that the PM, his son, minister’s children, and other high ranking members of their party are flown overseas for simple care? But poor people must use the so-called second-to-none hospital with the as seen on TV morgue.

The ambiguity of this dubious as seen on TV morgue is not evidence of health care. For lack of a better term, the as seen on TV morgue, is nothing more than post-death care. Given a choice, the citizens would favour proper health care over post-death care.

Despite all of their promises, they continue to jeopardize people's existence. With no substantive provision, poor people’s health outcomes are screwed and their life expectancy is skewed. Broadly speaking, in the foreseeable future poor people are likely to become endangered species in SVG.

More and more, poor people’s tears flood the nation as they deal with this health care crisis. How many more barbeques, crowdsourcing events, and other fundraising activities will be needed for poor people to raise money to access health care abroad?

The factual underpinning is there has to be a reasonable and prudent alternative to all this tearful asymmetry in SVG. Your health is your wealth! If we fail to correct this structural asymmetry, we may as well do as the late Reginald “Professor” Padmore said, “Put mas in the hospital, Block-O in the cemetery, See we Vincies dancing with Jumbies. “Mas in De Hospital!”

Peace and Justice, and Get Real

Lenford O’Garro
Reads: 2866

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