Two technical teams from the People’s Republic of China are presently in Dominica and one of them will be reviewing plans of the much talked about new Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).
Acting Prime Minister, Dr. Colin McIntyre, said on state-owned DBS Radio plans are well underway to begin the construction of the institution.
“I think that we are well on our way with it and if you listened to the Prime Minister some time ago, he is planning to start the hospital in the first quarter of 2016,” he stated. “As I speak with you there is a team on island right now, the constructing team, and they are looking at fine-tuning, getting all the little T’s crossed and the I’s dot in terms of commencing that project.”
Dr. McIntyre mentioned further that the Ministry of Health has been working feverishly with the team in discussing the plans for the new hospital.
He indicated the biggest challenge being faced is the fact that the new hospital is to be constructed on the site of the existing one.
“This is probably one of the biggest challenges, but nothing is impossible in life,” he noted. “The plan is to construct the hospital on the site and to move with the new hospital and it’s something that we pride ourselves on. We know definitely that the hospital is something that is required at this point in time.”
The construction of the new hospital has been on the lips of officials for years now.
Back in 2010 then Health Minister, Julius Timothy, announced that the ground breaking ceremony for the hospital in the Roseau North constituency was “coming soon.”
That same year Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said Warner should be considered as a possible location for the hospital.
Two years later, in 2012 Timothy said the existing Princess Margaret Hospital would soon be revamped and the country will have a “relatively new hospital early next year” (2013).
In 2013, Prime Minister Skerrit said the new hospital was among projects to be undertaken that year through gratuitous aid and concessionary financing from the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
At that time, Skerrit mentioned that they were “unfolding the designs” of the hospital.
In January 2015, Health Minister Kenneth Darroux said new information, new points of view and ideas about the hospital had surfaced and a site for the facility was yet to be determined.
He said a decision on the new site would be determined very soon and “within the next few weeks” the nation would be informed.
It was subsequently revealed that the facility will be constructed in Goodwill.
In May 2015, Skerrit said groundbreaking would be held in July 2015.
In November 2015, Skerrit said everything is now settled between Dominica and China and the groundbreaking will now be held in the first quarter of 2016.