Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has announced that groundbreaking for the new much talked about, Chinese-funded Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) will take place in July.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, he said nothing can be done to fix the old PMH.
“It is a facility that has outlived its purpose and so forth, it is run down,” he stated. “It is not a place where we should in the second decade of the 21 century be providing the highest level of care in so far as health services is concerned.”
He noted that the Chinese has presented the government with an “excellent concept” for the new facility and considerations were taken of concerns raised.
“The chinese government has indicated to us that they are prepared to break ground for the hospital in July of this year,” Skerrit announced. “And the clear mandate to the Minister of Health is that the government must to everything possible on its side. The Chinese are ready, the Chinese people are ready, we must do everything on our side to ensure that we do all that we have to do to break ground in July.”
He noted that the government is passionate about the hospital since it will transform the delivery of health care services in Dominica and reduce the mount of Dominicans traveling overseas for medical attention.
He stated that the government is increasing efforts in training local Dominicans so that there will be expertise in specific areas.
“So that we have a core of Dominicans who will responsible for providing those services to our Dominican citizens,” the Prime Minister said.
“SO we are hoping to break ground because the issues that are outstanding are not insurmountable, they are issues that can be addressed in a matter of short period of time,” he said.
Skerrit stated the new PMH is “a noble gift” to Dominica by the Chinese government.
During the campaign for general election last year, it was said construction on the new hospital would begin in the first quarter of 2015.
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.
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.