PM Skerrit gives date for new hospital groundbreaking

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has finally given a definite date for the groundbreaking of the new much talked about hospital in Dominica.

Speaking on a radio show on Kairi FM on Wednesday night, Skerrit said the ceremony for the China-funded facility will take place on August 8, 2016.

“So August 8 2016, we will see commencement of the new national hospital,” he said. “All the issues have been addressed on both sides. The Chinese are constructing their residencies, accommodation and they have started the process to set up their offices.”

He stated that ‘temporary wards’ are ‘underway’ and are being constructed by the Chinese.

“Immediately after the groundbreaking we will see actual, physical commencement of the hospital,” he noted.

Skerrit described the facility as a “long awaited project” which is much welcomed by the country, adding that it will be a completely new hospital “contrary to what some people are saying.”

“We look forward to its commencement and we look with eagerness to its completion,” he remarked. “Our hope and prayer are that that will motivate those in the health services to be exceptionally diligent in the delivery of health care services.”

On Wednesday, July 14, Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux said on Kairi’s Heng Program that all the I’s were dotted and all the T’s were crossed in relation to the hospital.

He said the facility was delayed for a number of reasons including the challenges of building a hospital on the site of an existing one which is fully functional.

“That in itself, from any lay person’s point of view was going to pose challenges…” Darroux said.

Talks of constructing a new hospital in Dominica goes back to 2010.

That year then Health Minister, Julius Timothy, announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital in the Roseau North constituency was “coming soon.”

That same year Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said Warner should be considered as a possible location for the hospital.

Two years later, in 2012 Timothy said the existing Princess Margaret Hospital would soon be revamped and the country will have a “relatively new hospital early next year” (2013).

In 2013, Prime Minister Skerrit said the new hospital was among projects to be undertaken that year through gratuitous aid and concessionary financing from the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

At that time, Skerrit mentioned that they were “unfolding the designs” of the hospital.

In January 2015, Darroux said new information, new points of view and ideas about the hospital had surfaced and a site for the facility was yet to be determined.

He said a decision on the new site would be determined very soon and “within the next few weeks” the nation would be informed.

It was subsequently revealed that the facility will be constructed in Goodwill, at the site of the PMH.

In May 2015, Skerrit said groundbreaking would be held in July 2015.

In November 2015, Skerrit said everything is now settled between Dominica and China and the groundbreaking will now be held in the first quarter of 2016.

Recently Darroux said the construction of the hospital had “essentially started.” (Dominica News Online)

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