The Government, through the Ministry of Health, is expected to spend over $80,000 on the purchase of steel toilets for the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital.
Reports say the regular porcelain toilets were repeatedly destroyed by the mental patients over the years.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Health has ordered 20 steel toilets for the psychiatric hospital at a cost of US$1,500 each, which is equivalent to EC$4,050. Hence, a total of US $31,011 or (EC$83,729.70) will be paid by the Treasury, according to this week’s Cabinet Notes.
Meanwhile, some people are contending that the toilets could be purchased for less. One woman submitted to REAL News a variety of stainless steel toilets available on the Amazon website, which offers a prison-grade model for just over US$750.
Several weeks ago, the Clarevue staff publicized a situation in which flies had taken over the premises due to the condition of pit latrines on the compound.
After the news broke and the public expressed disgust and outrage, officials undertook to construct concrete slabs over the pits in order to minimize the number of flies.
However, after the first one was constructed, the Minister of Health and other officials expressed concern that they posed some risks to the patients.
But, following a meeting on the matter, the work continued, and a further three or four were constructed, reported Joan Peters, the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA).
“Now, all that effort seems to have been a waste of money,” says one taxpayer about the situation.