DISCUSSES PLANS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF HOSPITAL
Democratic Party government said Monday that work on the
hospital annex should begin within 4-8 weeks and be completed
within 12-15 months.
care service in the BVI is of top priority for my government
(and) as such, the construction of a new hospital is a paramount
project,” said Chief Minister Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando
Smith during his first press conference since his party was
elected to office June 16th, 2003.
He said construction of the main hospital would require that
government carefully consider current proposals as well as
requests from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for additional
information before agreeing that this government could borrow
the funds needed.
“The new hospital
project has not advanced very far since phase 1A commended
officially in September 2001,” he declared. Phase 1A included
the excavation of the site and the construction of retaining
The Chief Minister reported that a total of 80,000 cubic yards
of fill was excavated from the site and deposited immediately
across the street from the existing hospital. He said the cost
to date on this project is $8,680,054.60.
government is committed to improving health care services in the
BVI,” the BVI leader stated. “We will have a first class
hospital in Tortola and upgrade the facilities on the sister
islands to modern clinics.”
He said as a first
step, the Ministry of Health and Welfare will proceed
expeditiously to complete and outfit the hospital annex, which
will provide at least 20 additional beds. He said funds have
already been provided in the 2003 budget for this project and
work would resume shortly.
has agreed that the firm ADC Construction Limited, a partnership
between a local company and a firm from the Cayman Islands, will
complete the hospital annex at a cost of $5.2 million. The
successful contractor won the bidding from a field of four
Minister for Finance
and Health Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton outlined that the project
encompasses around 30,000 square feet of floor space and two
storeys a ground floor and a first floor.
He said the ground
floor will accommodate a modern laboratory for hospital
services, laundry and housekeeping, bio medical room,
electrical, mechanical and maintenance area, while the first
floor is earmarked for offices for doctors, administrators,
other laboratories and a restaurant that will service the entire
hospital complex when completed.
“Based on the
contract sum, there are sufficient funds to complete this
project,” Hon. Skelton reported. “We are now preparing the
contract and as soon as that contract is signed, we will move
immediately to the construction phase.”
Minister for Natural
Resources and Labour Hon. J. Alvin Christopher said his
ministry’s role would be during the operational rather than
construction phase. He said the Ministry’s contribution will
be in the areas of fishing, agriculture, environment and labour.
“Currently the BVI
Fishing Complex supplies Peebles Hospital on a weekly basis with
a large amount of local fish,” Minister Christopher said.
“The addition of this annex could only increase the business
done in terms of value supplied.”
He said this would
also create more jobs for persons wanting to become involved in
the fishing industry.
In terms of
agriculture, the Ministry is working steadfastly to improve the
water supply to our farmers, according to Hon. Christopher. He
said this would in turn result in higher yield for farmers who
will be able to supply the hospital with more fresh produce
while maintaining their relationship with the supermarkets.
is always of concern and especially in a location like the
hospital,” the Minister pointed out. “While we are certain
that the Ministry of Health will continue to ensure that the
disposal of medical waste is environmentally safe, we are ready
to provide any assistance in this regard.”
He said he would also be looking out for the non established
workers at the hospital, to ensure proper working standards.
On the reclamation,
Mr. Christopher pointed out that details are yet to be worked
out, but this would provide additional parking. He said the
Conservation and Fisheries Department has done an Environmental
Impact Assessment and this would help to ensure the reclamation
is done in an environmentally safe manner.
Hon. Lloyd Black,
Minister for Education and Culture, said his role would relate
to training of personnel to man the hospital on its completion
and creating general awareness among school children and the
youth about careers in the health field.
“It is this
government’s policy to train medical and allied health
professionals to assume positions in the proposed new Peebles
hospital,” he stated. “This calls for an investment of
approximately $3M over a 7-year period in the first instance to
train British Virgin Islanders in specific disciplines,
including pharmacy, laboratory and other medical technicians,
nurses, physiotherapists, general and specialist medical
practitioners and emergency medical technicians.
Minister Black said
the scholarship scheme would be administered through the
Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Health.
He invited all interested persons to contact the Ministry at
telephone 494-3701 ext. 2151 for further details.
And Minister for
Communications and Works Hon. Paul P. Wattley referred to the
hospital as a top priority project for the BVI.
“Unlike what has
happened in the past, being the Minister for Works and
Communications, we find it very important for us to be the
watchdogs on every project,” he declared. He said the Ministry
would look out for government’s interests and ensure that the
consultants’ fees do not escalate with escalating costs of the
He said they would
also ensure that sub contractors of the BVI are given an
opportunity to work on these projects and that material, as far
as possible, would be bought locally.
“We basically will
be the client’s representative,” said Hon. Wattley. “I
believe I can safely say from hereon in that every government
project will have the relevant agencies in government looking
after government’s interest.”
He said the plans
for the annex will be revised and changed to suit “today’s
needs”. He said the annex is to the main hospital, but since
the territory cannot afford a complete hospital, “we’re
gonna make do with what we have and make it work for us in the
short term so at least we’ll be having some improved health
extension of the four lane highway from the Wickham’s Cay
roundabout to Fort Burt, the Minister of Communications and
Works said Monday, this will be studied to ensure that it works
in the best interest of all the BVIslanders. “We have to
ensure that you never be put through a situation where you have
to go in a roundabout way to get to the hospital.”
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