Dominica: Health Minister reports smooth sailing in new hospital construction

Minister for Health and Environment, Kenneth Darroux, has said that construction of the new national hospital is going “very smoothly,” considering the challenges that were predicted to occur.

He was speaking at a Town Hall meeting Wednesday evening in Pointe Michele.

Darroux said that he thanks God for the smooth construction process and prays that it will continue to be so.

“I really want to thank God and I really want to continue to pray to God that he will continue to grace us with that blessing because we knew that it was always going to be a challenge to build a new hospital on an existing site, and so far I must report that things are going very smoothly,” he said.

He also said that whatever concerns that may have arose, the government “would have put in place” a project management unit to address whatever concerns.

“Even nip them in the bud and move on,” he stated.

According to him, the project is in phase one out of seven phases because of the “peculiarity of this project.”

“We would now have to build temporary buildings to move whatever building we are going to build – temporary building, demolish, build, and move back in,” Darroux explained.

He said that Dominica is “guaranteed a fully functional hospital at the end of the two and half years.”

“As opposed to probably doing a whole year building a new site and afterward to check that this wasn’t done properly etc. So we are guaranteed a fully functional hospital at the end of the thirty months,” he stated.

Meanwhile, designs for the new Marigot hospital is well on its way, according to Darroux.

He said that the Marigot Health District has “not been abandoned…as the Member of Parliament is making it out to be.”

“Yes things would have moved a bit slow, but I am pleased to announce that the cabinet would have sought the approval for appointing a new project officer and architect along with outsourcing the designs for this new project within the Ministry of Health, namely in Marigot,” he said

He stated that $300,000 was allocated to go “full steam ahead” with the designing and preparatory works for the new Marigot hospital, and $1.2-million allocated to the Marigot health district which, in Darroux’s words, “we plan on using to retrofit an old high school to serve as a health center in the future.”(DNO)

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