CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) — The St Lucia government on Monday “strongly condemned” an incident at the island’s main hospital over the weekend where men armed with cutlasses forced hospital staff to seek cover as they pursued a patient who had earlier been brought to the facility for treatment.

Health Minister Mary Isaac said that the government and the Ministry of Health are “strongly disturbed by the horrible incident perpetrated by criminal elements” at the Victoria Hospital on the outskirts of the capital.

“We stand together with the people of St Lucia to condemn all such acts of violence. This message is to inform everyone that acts of violence will not be tolerated at our health institutions and I am calling on those involved in the justice system to prosecute and swiftly expedite criminal charges against those criminals to the full extent of the law.

“We need the hands of justice in this case to act quickly so that the perpetrators can be dealt with and taught a valuable lesson,” she said, adding that the incident “has impacted our entire society and traumatised the staff and people of St Lucia and it should not go unpunished.

“I call on the lawyers and others who will be involved in this case to put country before pocket before family and before friends in an effort to do away with the crime surge that we are experiencing,” he said, adding that she hopes that “all those who suffered as a result of this act find comfort in the fact that justice will be executed expeditiously”.

Media reports here said that at least one man had been detained after he attempted to attack a male patient at the hospital on Saturday night.

Police have since detained the unidentified man and his accomplices.

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