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New Management Structure for St. Jude Hospital

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, May 08, 2003 - After thirty-seven (37) years of operation on the island, a new management structure has been put in place to oversee the functioning of the Vieux Fort based St. Jude Hospital. The institution was previously managed by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother under the purview of the Roman Catholic Church and later by an extension programme with Mercy Hospital.

On Wednesday, May 7th, 2003 top health officials met at the institution to announce the change in its modus operandi that leads to its statutorisation and to formally introduce the new ten-member board made up of professionals from varied field of endeavours. The new board is chaired by Acting Principal of the Laborie Boys Primary School Mr. Ulric Alphonse.

“I cannot think of a Board that is better composed,” said Alphonse. “In my recent interactions with my colleagues, I have found all of them committed to the hospital, interested and capable of undertaking this great responsibility. My initial fears of being unable to foot the bill were totally removed from our first meeting as I saw persons of diverse backgrounds who displayed the qualities that are conducive to progress and who possess intolerance to mediocrity. Thus all of St. Lucia can rest assured that this board will pave the way and create conditions that will transform St. Jude’s Hospital into a model health institution that will be the envy of others.”

High on the agenda of the new entity will be the task of ensuring the viability of the health facility. That comes amidst the background of dwindling financial resources and increased demands from St. Lucians for better quality health case. Another immediate task of the Board will be to transform the image of the Hospital, building public confidence that St. Jude is and remains an institution that provides high quality, alternative and affordable services.

Health and Human Services Minister Honourable Damian Greaves in introducing board members spoke of the institution’s critical role in serving residents in the southern portion of the country. He spoke of the many positive successes recorded by St. Jude over the years saying that this latest change will bring increased benefits. However his Ministry will maintain a watchful eye in the operations of the facility.

“Much is expected of the board,” said Greaves. He went on, “of course we do not intend to cut the umbilical cord from the Ministry of Health too early as we realize that there would have to be some interventions by the Ministry of Health to assist the board in terms of its functioning at the moment. We are also cognisant of the fact that they will of necessity have to be some level of training and attachments and we are in the process of looking at a two-day training package for Board members that will include hospital management, the financial situation and so on.”

The new management structure signals the end of an old regime and the beginning of a new era. It also marks the culmination of years of work by the Health Sector Reform Committee in attempting to decentralize and change the delivery of health services on the island. The board’s tenure is for two years.

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