Charity won’t solve hospital woes, says MD

The original article can be found in: Antigua Observer

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Former Health Minister of St Lucia Dr Keith Mondesir has advised government that the new charity formed to help Mount Saint John Medical Centre (MSJMC) won’t amount to much.

“This is only going to be a band aid just putting on a sore because charity is people giving and, in hard times, you’re not going to get people giving,” said Mondesir, speaking on Big Issues on Sunday.

The Mount St John’s Medical Centre’s (MSJMC) Foundation Inc was formed about a week ago to assist the nation’s lone public hospital with meeting financial obligations to treat the nation’s ill and injured.

“You must establish something that is permanent and will last, and, in my opinion, the government has to lead the role,” said Mondesir.

The MSJMC Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation, and there are plans to have it registered as a non-profit organisation in the USA, Canada, and UK.

Mondesir suggested that Caribbean countries shouldtap into high-level international aid to cover the cost of healthcare, since the tax bases are too small to cover the high costs of treatment in the region.

“It’s not because your little country (doesn’t) have the money (that) you can’t get the money from international aid,” said Mondesir.

Administrators at MSJMC have been struggling to meet many of the financial obligations, including salaries, for most of the year.

The difficulties at the hospital come as central government has cut back on contributions owing to similar financial constraints.

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