By Zaya Williams
The government has assumed ownership of the defunct Cancer Centre, but negotiations with the former owner regarding the purchase price are still in progress.
The government appraised the Cancer Centre’s value at EC$6-$9 million but the former owner a Dr. Conville Browne has requested US$15 million (EC$40.5 million) for the medical facility
The government’s argument is that the Cancer Centre was built on Crown land, and they also discovered that the facility has incurred debts totaling EC$6.9 million.
Chief of Staff in the office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst, confirmed that mediation is ongoing due to Browne’s high asking price. Nonetheless, the state has agreed to take responsibility for maintaining the property having officially acquired the property.
The Cancer Centre, situated on Queen Elizabeth Highway, had notified the government through a letter of its intention to close on April 30, citing financial constraints. In response to the public need for its services, the government passed a resolution to compulsorily purchase the facility.
Originally designed to serve cancer patients across the OECS, the centre opened on June 26, 2015, offering radiotherapy to both private patients and those covered by the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS).
Since its closure, numerous patients have expressed concerns about the potential financial burden and emotional distress of seeking treatment abroad, which was previously available locally.
Minister of Heath Molwyn Joseph reassured residents that overseas travel for treatment would be a temporary measure and that the government would cover the costs, ensuring that patients receive adequate care during this challenging period.