St. Lucia- Hospital Director denies media allegations

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
Executive Director of the Victoria Hospital (VH), Jeanette Hughes, has refuted claims that patients are being denied care because of their inability to pay. The claims, which emanated from both social and mainstream media, contradict the very policy of Victoria Hospital.
“Victoria Hospital has two main policies: to deliver quality care to everyone who comes requesting care, and to give that care with or without the ability to pay,” she said. “So we never turn down anybody at Victoria Hospital regardless of their ability to pay.”
She said that people who access care at VH are normally asked to present their medical exemption card or insurance form, or they are asked to pay out of pocket. “It means, therefore, that someone who is not able to pay and is exempted by the state, would be given care and would not have to pay or be asked to pay anything because that person would be exempted.”
Hughes also said: “Persons who have medical insurance would be required to present their insurance documents. However, there may be persons who do not have medical insurance and may be required to pay out of pocket.”
She added that the policy at the hospital has not changed. A business office was recently established to work with persons and to provide financial counselling on how they can settle their medical expenses.
“We have had instances where persons have brought in goods for sale and we would buy their produce to offset their bills. We have had instances where persons are unemployed and we have a need for temporary employment and we would actually employ persons on a temporary basis and they would contribute towards their bills. So Victoria Hospital is definitely about giving service and to work with the clients we serve. And I will categorically deny this: we do not turn away anyone at Victoria Hospital because they are unable to pay,” stressed Hughes.

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