Our Readers' Opinions
January 19, 2016

How long must we wait?

Editor: As a Vincentian who is having difficulties with a health issue, I fully understand the frustration one has to endure in St Vincent and the Grenadines due to the lack of proper health care. While at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital seeking medical assistance, I asked a nurse for advice on my medical issue.{{more}} The nurse bluntly replied, “I’m not there to give advice; that’s not my job.” I truly felt abused and confused, as there was no assistance or anyone to hear my complaints.

Health care is very important to the development of any country. Finding quality health care in St Vincent and the Grenadines has been a serious challenge. The majority of Vincentians who are facing difficulties obtaining proper health care are poor people just like me. We constantly hear Vincentians complain about the lack of proper health care, while we hear the Government say they are trying. Are they really trying? Why are Vincentians finding difficulties getting medication? Is it because of the cost why there is always a shortage of medication? Sometimes I wonder if the Minister of Health is aware about the difficulties Vincentians are facing to acquire proper health care.

It’s very frustrating when one seeks medical assistance from the clinics and they are told that they can’t help. The popular talk given by the clinics, “We are limited by what we have to offer.” The Prime Minister expressed the importance of the dialysis treatment. I agree with its importance. Where is it? A hospital is scheduled to be built at Georgetown, where Vincentians would get proper health care, but while we wait, Vincentians are dying. The question is how long can we wait?

Several Vincentians are having health issues with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and loss of limbs. Can one honestly say that Vincentians are being given the proper information on how to prevent several of these sicknesses? Is enough information being given to Vincentians on how to deal with these sicknesses? Many Vincentians complain about the amount of time one has to wait to get assistance at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. Who is to be blamed for this problem?

Questions we must ask ourselves:

Are we eating healthily? Could we afford to buy quality foods? Should we avoid buying fast food? Is the food preparation healthy? Do we drink enough water? Is exercise important? Should we visit a doctor more frequently?

Being ill is very frustrating, especially when one has no money to buy the necessary medication needed. People often say money can’t buy health, but it can give you a healthy chance to get better.

The majority of Vincentians who are complaining about the lack of health care are poor. I sometimes wonder if the wealthier persons face so many difficulties getting health care as the poor do.

I am asking every Vincentian to try take care of their body, eat right and take health very seriously. To the Ministry of Health, I am asking for a bit more effort. Vincentians need proper health care. The poor people need it.

Kingsley DeFreitas