Ground breaking for new hospital slated for Monday afternoon

Artiste's rendition of a section of the new hospital
Artiste’s rendition of a section of the new hospital

After being on the lips of government officials for more than five years, the ground breaking ceremony for a new national hospital in Dominica will take place on Monday afternoon.

The ceremony for the US$40-million China-funded project is expected to take place at the Lindo Park in Goodwill from 4:00 pm. It forms part of the four-pillar projects agreed to in Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Dominica and China when the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2004.

Press secretary, Kamala Baptiste Aaron said the ceremony will be a “tangible and symbolic event to make that leap forward in the advancement of health care in Dominica.”

She stated that the government has spent many months negotiating the project with China for the benefit of the people of Dominica.

“So Monday’s ground breaking ceremony really is a celebration, it is a celebration because it will mark the advancement of health care and the development of the health care system in Dominica,” she stated. “The people have been requesting, have been asking for, have been wanting that advancement for many many years…”

Among those to address the ceremony are Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, Minister of Health Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Chinese Ambassador from the People’s Republic of China to the Commonwealth of Dominica, Li Jiangning, and Xie Gaohong, Manager of Overseas Department Hunan Construction Engineering Group.

The new hospital is being built on the same site at the present Princess Margaret Hospital.

Talks of constructing a new hospital in Dominica goes back to 2010.

That year then Health Minister, Julius Timothy, announced that the groundbreaking 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, 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, at the site of the PMH.

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.

Recently Darroux said the construction of the hospital had “essentially started.”

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31 Comments

  1. Extremely
    August 9, 2016

    While I am happy to have a better hospital than what we have right now, I do hope it will not just be a prettier building. I do hope that it will be better equipped to handle emergencies. I do hope that it will be equipped with all the proper medicines such as paracetamol. I do hope that more and better professionals will be there to deal with the tasks at hand.

    And last but by no means least, I do hope that the PM’s wife will feel more comfortable to have her delivery at the hospital if the need arises.

    I thank you.

  2. UDOHREADYET
    August 9, 2016

    It would make a whole lot of sense and set us part from the rest if there where a Naturopathic wing to this hospital where Naturopathic doctors in and from Dominica & around the world can learn and practice. That concept is in line with our motto ‘Apres Bondeu c’est la terre’ n the Nature Isle and natural tourism. We must start leading in the things we are experts in in our own knowledge and strengths as well as learn from other cultures and countries but we should not forget what we already know just to follow their mistakes.

    Bless

  3. Da
    August 9, 2016

    Dominica is 20 years behind any other Caribbean country in development terms. So it will take us another 20 years to bring Da up to standard.
    I have not seen any progress in Dominica for DLP supporters to boost about.
    What have DLP been doing for 20 years now?
    Why does there have to a party like atmosphere for a simple ground breaking ceremony ? Maybe because we are not expecting big things to happen in Dominica?

  4. Unite
    August 9, 2016

    Good thing for Dominica . Dominicans learn to appreciate good things. Every thing is too political. Don’t criticize , beggars are not choosers. Be grateful and shut up . Get ready to pay for it. National insurance plan .

  5. whose fools are Dominicans?
    August 8, 2016

    Dominicans, let us go down memory lane.

    Remember who went to Barbados, while a Minister in the DLP Gov’t, unknowing to PM Pierre Charles, to meet with Chinese nationals? We got to know from revelations recently, that it was through the influence of NG Lap Seng that Dominica changed diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China. Never forget those things. Who is NG Lap Seng? What is his status with the Law in the US? wasn’t he arrested for illegal acts? Remember labourites were boasting that Skerritt took 19 hours negotiating for 4 pillar projects? It was NG Lap Seng that was behind all that diplomatic change and influence?

    Dominicans were told that the Chinese Gov’t is funding in toto that “NEW” hospital, just like the road rehab, the Grammar School wing and the stadium, as part of the 4-pillar projects. But Skerritt went to China, signed a US$300 million loan, with a private financial firm, not with China Gov’t, said part also for hospital. “UPGRADE”…

    • whose fools are Dominicans?
      August 8, 2016

      Remember the Chinese Gov’t, through their Ambassador here, publicly distanced themselves from that deal? Why? How much $$$$ from that loan, from the private financial firm, would go towards the hospital “UPGRADE”, although we were told that the Chinese Gov’t is providing all the funds for that project? Part of that US$300 million loan, we were also told, was for the building of a hotel in the Public works area. Remember? Whose fools are Dominicans, nuh?

      The descriptive word now on MARPIN 2K4 news Monday night was “UPGRADE”, not “NEW”, as we were fooled to believe, just like the rehabilitation of the Portsmouth to Roseau road. so is no longer a NEW hospital, but an upgrade.

      But really, has any Dominican, health personnel, in particular, thought of the noise, the distractions, the environment during construction, that patients will be faced with? is that conducive for recuperating from illness, from pain?

  6. Reasoning
    August 8, 2016

    This does not look like a hospital,the roof and its colour does not identify with that of a hospital; this seems to be a design from somewhere else that is outdated!!! There is already a colour scheme at the hospital and this should not change! If this illegal rogues posing as government think that they have to identify the hospital with their partisan political party colour, they are just losing it! The roof does not look like a hurricane proof or resistant! I don’t expect these rogues posing as government to get anything right,as they are not interested in good governance and doing anything for the good of it,but just to gain votes and remain in power!

  7. Reasoning
    August 8, 2016

    :?: U.S.Forty million dollars hospital is a joke,to call a state of the art hospital! Guadeloupe is planning to build a modern state of the art ecological hospital on 19 hectares of land over a five year period that will cost 590 million Euros. How does the one that this illegal rogue government of Dominica plans to build,match up :?: This illegal rogues posing as government over time has never follow protocol and proper procedures in nothing that they do! First of all, there is supposed to be a billboard with a replica design of the structure in vicinity of the site intended for the construction ! I bet this is an election ploy,this building will drag until next elections!!!

    • Yours truly might be one of the government most everyday critic, I call Skerrit every nasty name in the book: Some people believe I hate the man, that is their belief, fact is I simply do not like the way Skerrit is running the country, he is a waste of time, not capable, and I believe unfit to serve in any capacity in government.

      And the appearance of that thing term state of the art is simply going to be another legacy of Skerrit’s stupidity!

      Although I do not support him with his garbage, I cannot agree with you that his government is a rouge government! I consider, his government to a corrupt, and inept; nevertheless, we must accept the fact that an election was held, and the Labor Party won by a majority of people voting, and electing the government.

      We know Skerrit won the election by using some cynical, and devious means, such as bribing people with money food and building materials; now if the nations people are so backward and dumb to vote such people into power,…

    • Continue:

      Now; if the nations people are so backward, and dumb to vote such people into power, we cannot always blame the idiots in power, the people are responsible for their blunder; as for this hospital, the artist rendition alone tells us there is another Afghanistan Hospital in the making, they built one in Afghanistan, it decayed before it could be occupied.

      It is condemned; cannot be used not even as an animal hospital!

      The Chines used inferior materials, the workmanship was substandard, hence the entire structure is substandard, the Chines even installed air conditioners which rather than venting outside of the building; they were installed backwards to vent inside of the building! What may be considered “state of the art in Dominica, might could be state of garbage elsewhere, let’s wait and see the result.

  8. August 8, 2016

    Why is the DLP government so afraid of using the correct term for the project. RE-REFURBISHMENT of the PM Hospital that’s what it is; these guys can’t get anything right same as their so called Highway what’s NEW about it.

  9. Tjebe fort
    August 8, 2016

    Kamala talking crap…….as usual!

  10. zandoli
    August 8, 2016

    Is this facility going to be air conditioned?

    I hope they thought about patient’s comfort when they planned that facility.

  11. August 8, 2016

    To the person who call themselves south city a month ago there was a suggestion on what to name the new Hospital, you must have missed the memo, please don’t be to quick to judge, do your home work, what would you call it ? you did not make a suggestion, I personally would call it Dominica general hospital, I am not mad at you , am just saying don’t be to quick to act.

  12. South City
    August 8, 2016

    It looks like a Secondary School, not a hospital…lol. The receptionist area is too low, looks like its ready to open it’s doors to flood waters during rain. LOOK at Antigua Airport invites rain any time there are showers.

  13. out of south city
    August 8, 2016

    If we are going to build a new national hospital, why do we have to retain the old name? Why is it we can’t ever seem to get rid of the slave masters’ names?

    UNAPOLOGETIC

  14. Digusted
    August 8, 2016

    Dominicans deserve the government they get. Big fete and for what? Our health system is rubbish. If you do have money dog better than you. Carry on with you’ll comess. One way or the other you all will feel it.

    • Really?
      August 8, 2016

      The health system is rubbish mainly because people don’t do their jobs. It’s not only about the government.

  15. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 8, 2016

    I sincerely hope that there are no more setbacks and today is indeed a “Real Ground Breaking Ceremony.” This project is long overdue. Dominica desperately needs this new hospital.

    • PENVILLE FARMER
      August 8, 2016

      a new building does not make the service efficient, we just like to see big buildings as Dominicans… if we can make a proper emergency policy and how the service is executed to render the best results, then a pretty building will not make us better.

  16. aa
    August 8, 2016

    I wonder why up to now the PM has not disclosed the MOU to the public?

  17. Frelance
    August 8, 2016

    Really and truly under which package is this new hospital being done? Is Kamala saying its under the first 300 million dollar pillar project of 2004? but that’s not what the Prime Minister told us recently. Really we would like to know under which financial package is the hospital being built? because over the last six years we have been told of other 300 million dollar projects in which a general hospital was to be built. We remember also the famous health care facilities including a general hospital that was to be built under the My Dominica Trade House.com arrangements – so whereas we welcome the new hospital please clarify the source of funding. Better yet tells us which of the lies told about the building of hospital is being used to finance this project?

  18. August 8, 2016

    Just the idear of building a new hospital there, says Skerrit is not serious, you mean to tell me, Skerrit couldn’t get a piece of land in Dominica to build it?

  19. Irony
    August 8, 2016

    Oh oh what’s the hurry eh??

  20. Ron
    August 8, 2016

    Dno,, thanks for a good laugh once again :lol: :-? :-P

  21. Purge
    August 8, 2016

    Thank you for the second ground breaking of the same medical institution. I hope this time we can actually get a tangible hospital. Hope we don’t get to have a third or forth ground breaking for this same hospital.

    Thank you again and God Bless

  22. Real truth
    August 8, 2016

    As a contractor, most any construction firm can give or build a “$US, 40million hospital….however, at that price I having a little trouble seeing how this new hospital will be “state of the art ” one……. Pls don’t build any ole hospital for Dominica, to score political points…..give the people a hospital with the best that money can buy and Dominia could very well become a hub for medical tourism etc….. Just my thoughts…

  23. EnfantDiable
    August 8, 2016

    Absolutely necessary project. Characteristic policy indecisiveness and bureaucratic incompetence.

  24. Clarity
    August 8, 2016

    we have also had ground breaking for fully funded coast Guard yard….where is it? And where is the money from the U.S.? This government is great at siphoning grants. The Hospital is NOT funded by Chinese Governments but by Chinese ….companies. who was banned from the world bank look up the companies they were sanctioned. they are gaining funds from world bank, start projects with no completion. these … come to the Caribbean talk their sweet lingo and our people are the ones paying for it time and time again. How about get the hospital a new cray, MRI machine instead of the funds you are going to spend for this fake ground breaking.

  25. TJ
    August 8, 2016

    Waiting to see results?

  26. Neutral
    August 8, 2016

    Say one say two.Thats the best thing that can happen for Dominica.

    Health First !

    Thank you Mr.Skerrit

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