New hospital responsible for nearly 84% of national debt

The original article can be found in: BVI News Online

The New Peebles Hospital accounts for 83.73% of the national debt of the British Virgin Islands, according to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. D. Orlando Smith.

The national debt now stands at just over $113 million. “The total public debt to date $113,473,566. Of this, $95 million or 83.73% is attributed to the hospital project,” Premier Smith said.

He further told the House of Assembly that over $92 million was already spent on the construction of the hospital, with auxiliary costs pushing the overall amount beyond $100 million.

“The total cost expended on the construction of the New Peebles Hospital since 2007 is as follows: Total construction cost is $92,762,070.78, total equipment cost is $2,762,957.93, total consultancy, expertise and project administration $4,767,336.62 and the total combined cost is $100,282,365.33.”

The Premier was responding to Opposition member Andrew Fahie.

Fahie today asked for disclosure of the total cost expended on the construction of the new hospital since 2007 when the National Democratic Party government signed the initial contract with Carimex.

Apart from the more than $100 million spent on the New Peebles Hospital, Health Minister Ronnie Skelton this week disclosed that an additional $10 million would be required to provide the necessary furnishings.

Skelton told journalists: “There was a budgeted cost for fitting out the hospital years ago – about four, five years ago – about $10 million. But what we are trying to do is source these same products at a more affordable cost.”

The New Peebles Hospital project has far overshot its initial budget and completion time-line.

Following the protracted delays, Government signed another contract with James Todman Construction for it to complete the construction phase by August. The government also borrowed an additional $30 million to complete the new facility.

Skelton today told the House that all is being done to stay within the $30 million.

“The work force on site is in excess of 150 persons consisting of both foreign and local workers, and the interior of the building is filled with activity as we work to successfully complete this project within the contracted budget and timeframe,” he said.

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