Penn challenges gov’t to take better care of Iris O’Neal Medical Centre
Leader of Opposition and the National Democratic Party (NDP) Marlon Penn has challenged the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government to take better care of Virgin Gorda’s Iris O’Neal Medical Centre and its workers.
Speaking on the NDP Radio Programme recently, Penn said he’s consistently receiving reports of issues plaguing the new healthcare centre.
“I am still hearing some concerns about the furnishing still in the hospital. Many of the services that the people of Virgin Gorda were hoping that would be there is still not available four years into this administration and the official opening of that facility,” the Opposition Leader said.
Penn noted the lack of essential services on the sister island goes back to the priorities of the current government.
He said they must find a way to properly prioritise resources for key infrastructures needed to advance the territory.
“Virgin Gorda is a very important part of our tourism economy, and the Virgin Gorda people deserve proper healthcare and healthcare services. We need to ensure that the equipment and the tools are there, and the personnel is there to ensure that our sister islands get the right support and the things it needs in terms of health care,” Penn said.
“Again, I’m going to continue to push to ensure those things get done because it seems we have to call them out to get these things moving. They say we have a reactionary government,” he continued.
The Iris O’Neal Medical Centre was officially opened in February 2020 after what Health Minister Carvin Malone described as multiple setbacks since it was first promised in 2009 by elected officials.
At the time, Malone had also promised that the government would add several services to the medical centre. He promised services such as a dialysis unit and childbirth care.
Recently, Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley announced the old building that housed Virgin Gorda’s clinic will be transformed into a dialysis centre as residents that still had to travel to Tortola to get dialysis.
The Ninth District Representative said the absence of a dialysis centre on Virgin Gorda has been an issue that has plagued his district for quite a while now.