By Harvey Cenac
Our health care system in Saint Lucia is far from perfect, and therefore worth arguing that our health care services need a major overhaul, much like the current United Workers Party (UWP) administration.
Moreover, our health care system has reached a point of such calamity that the citizens of our great nation should call a travel band for members of parliament who wish to travel for medical purposes and other health care related matters; until such time that St. Jude Hospital is certified by the appropriate authority and is open and operational by a specific date and significant steps are taken to address the health care crisis facing Saint Lucia.
The dispensation of health care has become a profession of injustice which may have likely sprung up from corruption and greed at the expense of the poor and the most vulnerable in Saint Lucia. Whatever the case, it is immoral for any government to deny inherent fairness and basic human rights of its citizens, in contravention of the United Nations human rights charter.
One must understand that the basis of health care has its foundation in a theological motif that is routed in love and benevolence. This has always been the motivation that has shaped health care. In other words, it has been a theological concept of justice that our health care system has been based on until recently.
With this in mind, I call upon the faith communities: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism and others to recognize the need for justice as both divine and humanitarian and thus their extensive and necessary involvement in the national discussion.
Furthermore, of greater plausibility is that a social outlook on justice in health care serves as a regulative notion to frame the parameters for the development of policies for a modern system of health care that will better serve Saint Lucia.
In other words, the faith communities and civil society organizations must stand up against an unjust administration in Saint Lucia, one that is treating the health of its citizens and in particular the poor rather inhumanly. This is an immoral pursuit that we can no longer overlook and thus we cannot continue to stand aside and watch our brothers and sisters die at the hands of an unjust health care system.
We need an effective health care system that is accessible to all Saint Lucians. As the famous civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
To that end, the principle of justice is a moral test for our institution of government. A health care system which lies in the virtue of compassion and gives rise to the intrinsic value of all Saint Lucians, regardless of economic status, is instrumental to human welfare and becomes an instrument of justice.
On the contrary, the non-moral consideration that is currently demonstrated in Saint Lucia’s health care systems proves that our political system, governance, and character is based on self-interest, corruption and injustice.
Therefore, in order to develop better best practices and an excellent health care system, we must understand the divine and human side to health care, and expect and demand that no government should treat the poor and the most vulnerable in society with disdain.
The institution of government right now in Saint Lucia is in direct contrast to the basic tenants of the UN – Universal Declaration of Human Rights and/or serving the needs of the working class on matters of health care and services.
More importantly, a recognition of best practices and excellence in health care warrants a need for justice in order to make our health care system better.
We as Saint Lucians, should not be afraid to stand on the side of Justice, because these values are in line with our divine values. For only when we do that which is right and just for the least in our society, will our nation prosper.
Let us do that which is right and just – Health Care Accessibility for All.