Females complain publicly about lack of medication to treat breast cancer at JNF

Image of hospital.

Basseterre, St Kitts, October 6, 2019 – The failing state of healthcare in St Kitts and Nevis was again thrown into the national spotlight Thursday when a caller to Freedom 106.5 FM’s Issues programme said the J N France Hospital Oncology Unity is out of the medication to administer chemotherapy to a breast cancer patient.
The unidentified female caller told listeners that her friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer was advised to deposit money before chemotherapy can be administered. She turned up at the J N France Hospital only to be told the treatment is not available.
“We went and get the money, because they said they wanted to start the chemotherapy as soon as possible. We went to the hospital only to find out that they don’t have the treatment up there. It is so sad because they know that there are a lot of people coming down with breast cancer. How come they not have the treatment. The doctor told us the patient needs the treatment as soon as possible and only to hear it is not there when you go up there,” the friend said.
Pointing out that Prime Minister Timothy Harris has announced the payment of a double salary in December, the caller suggested the money could instead be used to purchase the constant shortages of prescription and other medication for the deteriorating health sector.
“Why give a double when people cannot use the money if they are sick. This double (the money to be paid out) can go into the hospital to provide the chemo and the radiation and whatever treatment they need,” the caller said.
Responding to a question from Andre Huie, the host of Thursday’s edition, the caller said the nurse informed: “they do not know when it will come in.”
“What kind of place are we living in. Some people cannot go away and do not have the money to go overseas like the other big shots them. So you going to tell me she is just going to die, die, die because she cannot get the treatment immediately. The cancer is going to progress. Cancer is a disease that you cannot stress with it. She is stressing now that she cannot get the treatment. What do you think she is going to be thinking?” she said.
Alleging that “nobody is trying to do anything,” the caller said there are other persons who have cancer and also cannot get the treatment.
“What are we really doing here in trying to get St Kitts better?” she asked.
The caller said she asked the nurse when it would be possible for chemo treatment to be done, the nurse said: ‘sorry, I cannot tell you when. I cannot tell you when because there are also other people who are waiting on it.’
She reiterated that the process was followed only to find out that there is no treatment at the hospital.
“Then the prime minister (Timothy Harris) laughing and saying he giving double. The people cannot use the double because they cannot get the treatment that is not there. Why give a double. I am so shocked. I have never called into this programme and I am all in tears. They are not concern about saving people’s lives.”
The caller said the treatment is also not available in Nevis.
The J N France Hospital has been lacking basic medication and prescription drugs, sheets and pillowcases.

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