Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal is optimistic that the construction of the Iris O’Neal Medical Center will be finally completed this year. In fact the District Representative announced during his contribution to the 2018 Budget debate that the facility will be operational by December.
Hon. O’Neal told the House of Assembly that money to see the project through has been earmarked and provided for in the 2018 budget. “I am so pleased to see that the money to finish the Iris O’Neal Health Center is in place; as you know the building itself was quite advanced before the storms and the structure itself did not suffer any damages,” he told the House.
Prior to the September hurricanes it was noted that the structure was at an advanced stage of completion. Now, Hon. O’Neal noted that the work will push through thanks to the $1million that has been earmarked in the budget.
As it relates to the final completion of the project, the Ninth District Representative said that Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton confirmed government’s intention to finalize the project.
“The Minister has assured me that it (Medical Centre) is scheduled to finish some time by December this year. I look forward to that day when we can cut the ribbon and open that new facility. The people of Virgin Gorda would be very pleased that they would have a facility now – a 24 hour seven days a week facility where they can access healthcare; and not have to skip down to Road Town to the main public hospital for every little thing,” he added.
The Iris O’Neal clinic was subject to many completion dates but is yet to open. Back in 2015 Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith during an address to the Territory on 4 May promised that the new Nurse Iris O’Neal medical Center would open in 12 months.
At the start of the project the Premier stated that the cost of the hospital would be five million dollars. However, in the budget address it was announced that the facility was starting at a cost of 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 and many other services
The ground breaking ceremony for the Center took place on March 30, 2015.