The David Thompson Polyclinic in St John – in honour of the late Prime Minister and ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) representative for that rural constituency – is now 97 per cent complete and should be officially opened by June 30th this year.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this announcement today during the closing debate on the Estimates, in which he acknowledged that the project had been affected not only by the global recession, but the 1994 defeat suffered by the DLP at the hands of the then Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
“So for 14 years [subsequently] nothing was done at the St John Polyclinic and nothing was done about the Sherbourne conference Centre [now the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre],” Stuart told the House.
“Those things had to wait until the DLP came back to office,” he added, emphasizing that it was only after his party returned to Government in 2008 that the St John Polyclinic was actually revisited.
In defending the length of time it had taken since then for the project to be completed, he said, “a lot of rehabilitative work had to be done”.
However, he reported, “the polyclinic is now between 95 and 97 per cent finished”.
The Prime Minister also gave the people of St John, which is a DLP stronghold, the assurance that the polyclinic would be ready by the end of June.
“We are going to get the polyclinic finished and we are all going to trek up to St John when the time comes to open the David Thompson Polyclinic. You can talk as much as you like, that time is going to come,” he said in a comment directly aimed at his political opponents.
“The people deserve to have their polyclinic and they are going to have it,” he insisted, adding, “We should not have been discussing the St John Polyclinic in 2015, [but] because of BLP’s spiteful, shortsighted politics they refused to do anything about it.”