Antigua and Barbuda’s water woes now seem to be impacting the ability of the Pathology Department to conduct autopsies at its Holberton Hospital location.
According to reports he has received, REAL News correspondent George Wehner says that quite a number of bodies are still being housed in the refrigerated unit. Because pipe-borne water is not available, sources claim that autopsies have been suspended.
The Pathology Department falls under the Ministry of Health. And since it appears that no provision for installing a water-storage system and maintaining the facility has been made, Wehner is concluding that Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph is asleep on the job.
Wehner reports that, on certain sections of the building, there is no guttering to collect rainwater, therefore allowing the already scarce and precious resource to go to waste. And in the areas where there is spouting, there is grass growing out of it, he says.
The REAL News Correspondent adds that shrubbery almost as high as the two-storey structure is growing near the Department; that sticks are being used to hold some windows open; and that there is a termite infestation on the wall near the entrance door.
Meanwhile, several families have complained that they have been unable to bury their deceased relatives for months due to the situation at the Pathology Department.
Only last week, the Police confirmed that post-mortem examinations on the couple murdered in their Golden Grove home in July are still pending. It was suggested that this is having some impact on the investigation.
Wehner says this alarming development has also adversely impacted the Justice Department, as it is has been awaiting the results of several autopsies for months.
Meanwhile, he revisits an incident in which a woman who delivered a still-born baby is waiting on hospital officials – some two years later – to sign off on the document that will make it possible for her to bury her child.
The compound of the old Holberton Hospital, in addition to housing the Pathology Department, is home to the Infectious Diseases Centre and the St. John Hospice.
Plans are also in the pipeline, according to Minister Joseph, to transfer the Dialysis Unit from the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre to that location.