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Delivery of health care has never been worse – Cummings

Delivery of health care has never been worse – Cummings


The delivery of health care in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has never been worse and the only reason the Prime Minister spoke about it recently is because a member of his constituency was affected.

Parliamentary representative for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings made this accusation on Wednesday, while speaking on the New Times programme on Nice Radio.

“The delivery of health care in this country has never been worse, but because a woman in [Prime Minister] Ralph Gonsalves’ constituency has a problem where there was no nurse, the country [is] suddenly learning that there is a problem in the health care system,” the Opposition parliamentarian said.

He recalled that the parliamentary representative for the Southern Grenadines Terrance Ollivierre had pleaded for several years for a resident nurse to be assigned to the island of Mayreau. Separate quarters were recently rented for a nurse to live on that Grenadine island after the living quarters at the clinic were deemed not to be suitable.

He stated, however, that management of the health care system is not the core of the problem of health delivery in the country.

“That is not the core of the health delivery in this country. You don’t put enough funds into the supply of medication; you don’t manage the delivery of medication at all, because you still allow pilferage; you don’t allow a lot of the drugs to go where they are going, but you can’t touch them because they are your supporters,” Cummings alleged.

He added that if the Prime Minister really cared about the health system, he would have made the appeal for improvement a long time ago.

Cummings noted that there is also a problem where there is surplus of nurses who, two or three years post graduation, still have not been given a job.

The parliamentarian said the issue therefore is not so much that there are not sufficient nurses in the country, but more so that they are not being used in the most efficient manner.

He also claimed that there were many instances of alleged malpractice at the hospital, which are never made public and questioned instances of the ambulance being used to transport hospital workers to and from their homes to the hospital.

Cummings, who during the 2015 election campaign spoke at length about improving the health care system in St Vincent and the Grenadines, stated that the New Democratic Party would have ensured that the residents in the country had quality health care and services always.

“Health care is something that we take very seriously; that is why we presented that plan in Calliaqua for a modern state of the art facility,” he stated. (CM)