Home Health & Fitness St Lucia: Second government minister medical incident cause for concern

St Lucia: Second government minister medical incident cause for concern

Minister for the Public Service, Home Affairs, Labour and Gender Affairs, Virginia Albert-Poyotte

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – On Monday, February 19, 2024, minister for home affairs, Dr Virginia Albert-Poyotte, experienced a medical emergency, the government of Saint Lucia said. A medical response was initiated, and the minister was transported to a medical institution for treatment, the report stipulated. Last year minister for equity, social justice and empowerment, Joachim Andre Henry was air-vacated to Martinique, under secrecy and sparse official communication, except for the wide request for prayers.

The extent of the government statements then and now is of little succour to calm inquiring minds vs what is known – by persons familiar with the matter. And on account of the minister (a public official) in the course of duty to the country.

The optics are questionable! What is there to hide?

Take, for example, the two elderly men who are running to be the next President of the United States of America. What is not known about their health is probably alien in medical circles. In the UK, King Charles has broken centuries of royal tradition by disclosing his cancer.

“We hope for a speedy recovery and encourage the public to keep her in their prayers during this time,” the government press release advised, adding to the public’s recourse, “ Get well soon, in our Prayer.”

St Lucia releases results of 2019 – 2020 STEPS survey

“The government of Saint Lucia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) released the results of the 2019 – 2020 STEPS survey. The survey determined the prevalence of common risk factors for Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are the leading cause of illness and death globally. In Saint Lucia, the Epidemiology unit reports that 82 percent of deaths are attributed to these diseases.”

The government of Saint Lucia has an obligation to disclose pertinent information about members of parliament in the course of duty, and every member of the public has a corresponding right to receive that information. The right to information in international law and ideally provided for in the Constitution of Saint Lucia to access official information is a basic right. This information should be available to all persons, informal and formal organisations.

The repeated sequence of government declarations, and that, which is duly required, amplifies that voters, members of the constituency and the public, do not have the right to know.

This has also prompted questions on personal and primary health care, diminishing healthcare institutions, the low medical trust ascribed to medical services, and the “three-tier medical system” organised for the Saint Lucian people.

COVID subvariant HV.1 gaining traction across St Lucia

The general understanding is such that, the Health and Citizen Security Levy (HCSL) “is an investment in our community, our country – our people,” and “to improve the government’s financial ability to provide quality healthcare services to the public and reinforce Saint Lucia’s national security infrastructure for a safer and more secure country.”

This Health and Citizen Security Levy (HCSL) 2.5 percent revenue “will improve the government’s fiscal ability to expand public health services, further reduce the cost of medical services and provide a higher quality of healthcare services to improve the health and wellbeing of our nation” the government of Saint Lucia said.

Saint Lucians remain unyielding that the government of Saint Lucia will quickly put the 2.5 percent to procedural use for the benefit of all. And to facilitate Universal Health Care (UHC) and health insurance for ease of access locally and regionally (Martinique, Barbados, Cayman Islands).

There is also the need to facilitate and expedite travel and medical insurance issues overseas. It makes little sense to purchase travel and medical insurance only to be rendered useless in case of an emergency on the island. Cash is King, or better yet, Credit Cards.

The conclusion of the government press release, said: “Further updates on Dr Virginia Albert-Poyotte’s condition will be provided at the appropriate time.”

At the time of publication at 12:05, Tuesday, February 20, 2024, no update was available on the government of Saint Lucia web portals.  



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