LETTER: A letter to the health minister, Mr. Molwyn Joseph

Sir Molwyn during budget debate/Wayne Mariette photo

Dear Mr. Joseph,

As a member of the medical fraternity, I decided yesterday, to listen with keen interest to your contribution to the budget debate.

To say the least, your contribution left me bewildered because there was nothing said about the house cleaning that needs to be done within the walls of our main hospital, SLBMC.

During your presentation, you boast about the services that are now offered at the establishment such as  kidney dialysis & kidney transplant & the removal of cataracts. You also mentioned about other advance procedure such as heart surgeries etc coming on stream within the very near future.

Of course, the extensive work done by you & your technical team during the pandemic cannot be overlooked. Clearly,  you are taking our health care system in the right direction.

However sir, if we turn the page and zoom in, there have been too many complaints about the basic day to day operations of the hospital. The doctors, nurses & auxiliary staff seem to be working in some very unfavorable conditions.

In addition, too many reports have been made about patients encountering issues due to irresponsible practices of our medics. If we, as a nation are working towards taking this country to the next level then these issues at the hospital need to be immediately addressed.

Now Mr. Minister, since tourism is our main bread winner, we cannot allow our primary medical facility to fail us. Let’s not forget what ICC demanded of us for the world cup in 2007. As a result,  the following areas need to be looked at by you and your administration asap.

1. The ER unit: The waiting time to see a doctor is of serious concern.  Persons have to wait too long before seeing a doctor.

2. The Polyclinics : These facilities are closing too early. They should be open daily up to 12 midnight and be equip with an ambulance for emergencies.

3. Long hour shifts:  Doctors & nurses are overburdened with work: They are working 28 to 30 hours shifts with very little sleep or rest causing them to fall sick. Some rely on coffee to keep them awake. A doctor who is “on call ” should work a maximum of 12 hours. They are human  beings

4. Proper accountability: A system should be in place to allow a patient the privilege to file complaints & seek a recourse of action concerning traumatic medical matters that patients have experienced. Some faulty medical incidents are swept under the table.

5. A national Insurance : Unlike MBS which caters for certain diseases, a national insurance is needed so that even the less fortunate can be assisted with financial aid for surgeries done locally or overseas.

6. Training: the nurses & auxiliary staff needs training in customer service, conflict resolution & stress management.  Some staff are too boisterous & unfriendly. A simple smile can do wonders to a patient

7. A medical database : The present manual system of writing up records need to be fully computerized & networked so that doctors especially in the ER can have a first hand view of a patient’s history upon admission.

8. Concessions: The doctors, nurses & auxiliary staff salaries are too low & their lives are at risk. They should be insured at the expense of the government and given concessions on houses, lands, cars etc

9. Feedback: The hospital Administration should have as a part of their function, routine visits to the wards and get feed backs from the patients their feelings of the treatment, complaints while being hospitalized.

9. Inventory & procurement: Basic supplies such as sheets, toiletries, sanitizers should be in place at all time for the patients.

10. Shortage of staff: An increase in doctors & nurses are needed. Doctors are presently doing nurses functions & nurses are doing auxiliary staff function.

11. Meals for patients: Upon delivery to the patients, the meals including tea are cold or luke warm. The patient should receive hot meals at all time unless prescribed otherwise by the doctor.

12. Transportation: The ” ON CALL ” Staff should be transported home after long work shifts. Many medics have fallen asleep behind the  wheel and gotten into accidents.



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  1. A very interesting write up…. Get your act together Maulwyn. Charity begins at home. If the conditions are not right then how can good results be produced

  2. Hahahaha! Good luck trying to get people that goes to the USA and where ever else for THEIR medical services to give one damn about what is needed at the medical center here.
    How many complain letters have been written and nothing changes? There’s your answer.

    People need to make their health a priority. It is best to try and avoid becoming a victim of this medical system that is sorely lacking.

    Many dis-ease’s are avoidable.
    Eat less and walk more.
    Drink plenty water (sorry no water available).
    Cut sugar out of your diet — It’s a killer!
    Remove one bad eating habit at a time.

  3. The health Minister is too smug and full of himself to pay attention to any of these pressing matters.
    Did you see him in parliament yesterday?
    Good luck people with these concerns😟 smh.

    • @ Sandra Clarke: This 2023 election should be a wake up call for ministers like Maulwyn Joseph who are deficating in high grass …..If they do not look about the poor people’s plight this time around, next election they will definitely get a rude awakening…

  4. I loveeeeee this article. I don’t live in Antigua but I agree. Too many people I know have died at the hands of Holberton and now LBMC including my mother back in 1990 and other relatives just this year 2023. The Healthcare system needs a revamp. All the new advances are great but start right within those walls, the staff, the doctors. Antigua is doing stem stell whatever and people are still waiting years to be put on a dialysis machine? Hourssss to see a doctor at the Emergency room? Yall can’t understand the definition of emergency? I hope better can be done going fwd.

  5. What Molwyn know about anything medical? I know he know about the 1996 scandal in which it was discovered he had used his position to import a 1930s Rolls-Royce.




    And the best part, he get knighted. Can’t say I am surprised though as we have plenty thieves in govt only for personal financial gain. This country is a joke.

    Keep voting in the criminals. Crime has already gone up. They following our politicians.

    Up to know the useless AG can’t even tell us who killed Nigel Christian. A small island that’s 108 sq miles and they want us to believe they don’t know? Instead they find 3 foolie scapegoats to take the fall for his execution. Criminals in high places are responsible for his execution. It will come out at some point.

    As far as this letter goes, it won’t do a damned thing. At the most there will be some pappy show if that and nothing after that.

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