Premier confirms hospital project delay but condemns PS Health’s earlier announcement

The original article can be found in: The Montserrat Reporter

On a ZJB Radio Talking Health program on July 17, Permanent Secretary (P S) in the Ministry of Health reported that there was a “slight delay” in the new hospital project because of Management restructuring as required by the funders, the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Premier Meade in one of his radio visits on the ZJB morning show accused the Ministry of speaking out of turn on the issue but confirms there is a delay in the start of the construction date.

P S Elijah Silcott following DFID’s condemnation of the management of the A1 road project, said during the radio program that DFID called on the Ministry to improve on the management structure in place for the project, that was approved on November 20, 2012, would cause a slight delay in its progress.

“We are aware that, the project was approved on 20th November in 2012,” the PS said. “However, we have had some slight delays and that is because DFID our major funding agent has asked us to revise the management system…” he noted, adding that DFID had referenced the challenges that the A1 road project experienced.

The Premier then accusing the Ministry of “speaking out of turn” told one his interviewers there was no delay, that it was well and truly on schedule, except for the start date of the construction. When I spoke with DFID, they were not aware of any delays; when we spoke to the project manager, the head of PIU there was no indication of any delays; and when we spoke with the ministry of finance which is where the financial control resides for the project there were no delays.” He then added, “this is one of the things when people speak out of turn because…”

Then came the oddity and contrast of there being no delay, he confirms the PS statement. “Yes,” he said. “There is a change in the management of the hospital project, where you’re taking the supervision out and also, rather than doing it one building at a time – instead of tendering several times we’re tendering the entire package.” Then he admits, “So there is a delay in commencement of construction,” then seeking to justify himself, he concluded, “but in terms of the overall project and the end date, the end date has not changed, so there is no delay.”

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