Updated: March 25, 2019

According to the World Health Organization, WHO, the right to health care dictates that these services be universally available, acceptable, accessible and of good quality. Moreover, States throughout the World hold the primary responsibility to fund and ensure all the essential goods and services under the right to health. Given the deteriorating state of health care in Dominica over the past 15 years, the question arises: Has the Dominica Labor Party (DLP) Administration lived up to its Health Care obligations to the population that it is supposed to be serving? Based on the available facts, the answer is resounding no!  Following are several areas and aspects in which the island have fallen behind its peers in the Eastern Caribbean and which provide opportunities for advancement of Health Care on the island, if indeed the government is committed to Health Care.

  • There are less tertiary care facilities now, compared to 19 years ago, when the DLP took the reigns of power.
  • Health centers (secondary level of care in most communities) are not well staffed, stocked or in good repair.  For instance, Marigot and Trafalgar Health Centers are closed. Why? Like the Marigot Hospital before it, Marigot Health Care Center is facing a mold infestation problems.  Health Centers in Scotts Head, Mahaut, Penville, Coulibistrie are in poor state and in some cases pose a risk to the staff and patients from persistent leaking, mold infestation and general neglect.
  • Accident and emergency facilities are sub-par where there exist and non-existent in areas where they were previously available.
  • Government have failed to keep up with the population's need for sub-specialty care in medical and surgical disciplines.
  • The DLP Administration has consistently neglected the extensive expertise offered by Dominicans in the Diaspora. Their efforts could augment and strengthen the care provided to Dominicans by Health Professionals on island and bolster services to all Dominicans in areas and disciplines where there are deficiencies. One exception, is after the recent Hurricane Maria disaster in 2017, where the Administration grudgingly accepted assistance from these individuals soon after the hurricane in Sept 2017. However, once things stabilized, the DLP administration  quickly resorted to nasty politics to regain its grip over a nation whose healthcare System they have ruined through neglect, misguided priorities, lack of political will and poor governance.

According to the UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  '...Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself/herself and of his/her family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services...'.  Over the past 15-20 years, Dominicans have had less access and availability of some essential aspects of health care services. There has been scarcity of essential medications, health care services have been lacking in entire parts of the country and vector control (example mosquito and rodent control) have been sub-optimal.  Many of these problems have arisen from a decay in finances for provision of essential health services and upkeep of existing health facilities.  

All states, including Dominica, through their commitment to WHO goals of attaining the highest standard of health for its citizens, should endeavor to govern with transparency and accountability to realize these objectives. Excluding citizens and civil society from essential health care decision, for example by signing secretive health care deals with China through unreleased MOU, does not support these universal objectives.

Dominica has been managed by a highly inconsiderate group of selfish politicians  in the past 15-20 years. Their only interest seems to be to stay in power and pad their financial status. Hence, it neither an accident nor surprise that, the healthcare of the people on island has taken a severe beating. In contrast, those in the Labor Party Administration and their staunchest supporters have neither being wanting for healthcare or medicine.   Many, including the Prime Minister's wife have gone to the USA for the best health Care, while the poor 'malewey' in Dominica are left to stumble and 'scrunt'  for their health services. An administration which has destroyed the health of a country should not be allowed to continue this destructive path.