After missing the 2019 mark for opening Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Carvin Malone announced what appears to be a firm date for the long awaited Nurse Iris O’Neal clinic opening. As it stands the project is five years behind its originally announced opening date estimation.
Hon. Malone told the sister island residents, “We are going to make sure that the clinic – the Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic is scheduled for opening on the 20 February and for that we have a lot of services that we are going to add even if they are not there now they are being programmed on the 20 February we are going to swing the doors open for the nurse Iris O’Neal clinic.”
The Minister stated that the opening will be of great benefit to a number of residents of Virgin Gorda who are currently left with no choice but to visit Tortola for medical treatment. “In terms of services that we are seeking to add value to this,” Hon, Malone added.
Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie in the 2020 Budget delivered on 19 November did mention that the facility will not begin to function until this year.
The ground breaking ceremony for the Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic took place on 30 March, 2015 and since that time there has been multiple opening dates and promises of close-to-completion. At the start of the project the clinic was expected to cost five million dollars, however that cost bumped up to six point five million dollars.
The mini hospital on Virgin Gorda is expected to operate 24 hours per day and offer emergency care, family care, mental and radiology services.