August 26, 2005
Dialysis Unit for proposed Diagnostic Centre

Very soon the poor will no longer face a death sentence if they encounter kidney failure.

“It is a painful business to have someone having a kidney failure and they are poor and have no where to turn. It is in practical terms, a death sentence,” lamented Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves while disclosing that he had spent EC$32, 000 out of his own pocket while in Opposition to assist two kidney patients of his North Central Windward constituency. {{more}}

On Tuesday, Dr. Gonsalves announced at Cabinet Room, plans for the construction of a Haemo-Dialysis Unit at the proposed Diagnostic Centre that would be constructed at Georgetown.

The multi-million dollar facility will be mainly sponsored by the Government of Cuba with some assistance from the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dr. Gonsalves said during his recent visit to Cuba, he discussed the matter with President Fidel Castro of Cuba in an extensive discussion on a wide range of subjects, which spanned six hours.

Dr. Gonsalves said that though the capital cost of the proposed Dialysis Unit for Georgetown is significant, Cuba is prepared to provide the capital and staffing that it would need.

Though Cuba will provide the staff in the initial phase, locals will be trained as understudies to take over its operations, the Prime Minister said.

The operational cost, which will be footed by Cuba, will cost the Latin American country US$20, 000 per patient.

Dr. Gonsalves said he will have to find EC$1.5 million per year to treat approximately 20 patients.

“I am satisfied that the money will be found and we will proceed with the project,” the Prime Minister added.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves visited Cuba on Wednesday, August 17, upon an invitation from President Castro.