Construction work on the new National Hospital continues despite challenges which presented themselves recently.
Giving an overview of the works being done on the new hospital during the second walk through held on Thursday 18 May 18 2017, Project Manager, JIANG Wei revealed that structural works for the Accident and Emergency Building is one hundred percent completed and is currently in the decoration stage.
The Number 1 Medical Technology Building, which is the second building under construction, has been identified as having ninety percent of its structural work completed and will be entering the decoration stage in June.
Wei informed that foundation work has begun on the Expert Dormitory Building while preliminary works on the Temporary Medical Ward is ongoing.
The specifications for the x-ray machine have been confirmed and the MRI and High-intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Knife have already been ordered.
Wei said as of 10 May 2017, a total of ninety-three (93) local workers are employed on the project with a current expenditure of 5.6 million EC dollars spent locally on concrete and blocks among other materials.
He also revealed that the project has been delayed by three months due to various reasons; one of which being concrete shortages here.
“So far we have experienced five instances of concrete shortages with no available supply,” Wei said adding that with the relocation of the Blood Bank underground pipes were unable to be removed and relocated according to schedule.
According to Wei, a timely final response was not received for the Number 1 Medical Technology Building.
Another challenge, Wei identified is the insufficient storage space for construction materials and a VAT refund which from July 2016 to May 2017, an accumulated sum of EC two hundred and thirty thousand dollars (230, 000), has yet to be authorized.
Wei also said the construction of the temporary medical ward cannot begin as the design has not yet been approved after repeated changes.
The construction plans for the remainder of 2017, as revealed by Wei, includes completion of the Emergency and Number One Medical Technology Building, interior decoration and equipment installation, Relocation of Emergency Building, medical ward and laboratory, removal of existing emergency building, medical ward and laboratory and commencement of construction of the new outpatient building and number two medical technology building.
The temporary medical ward is expected to be completed in the middle of October as well as continuation of construction of the expert technology building.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit requested that Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, Davis Letang, meet with his staff today to address the outstanding issues highlighted in Wei’s presentation.
“Some of the issues they really should not be postponed because they are in fact assisting in the delay of the project,” Mr Skerrit said.
“So where we have control over the matters we should address them because the matters that have been pointed out are not impossible matters, but we need to address them,” Mr Skerrit continued.
He has asked to be informed, by tomorrow, Friday 19 May 2017, of which issues the Ministry has decided to address following their meeting.