As Dominica moves one step closer to constructing the much talked about New National Hospital, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has called on citizens to unite behind what he called the “apolitical” project.
He made that statement while delivering the keynote address at the ground breaking ceremony of the hospital held at the Lindo Park in Goodwill on Monday.
“I want this hospital project to be apolitical, this is not Labour or UWP starting construction of a new hospital, this is Dominica getting a new modern well-equipped hospital to benefit every single citizen in our beautiful country,” he said. “I want citizens and residents of this country to proclaim to the region and the world that Dominica has just started construction of a modern state of the art hospital and soon will boast some of the finest acute healthcare services in the region. If we each see ourselves as ambassadors for and of this project then it can serve as a catalyst for the development of health…”
He said the facility will be 100 percent Dominican.
“It shall be a symbol of who and what we are as a people. As of today, I am calling on all Dominicans to become marketing agents of this facility,” he noted.
Skerrit said quality healthcare is among the defining features which characterize the development of a nation.
“One of the essential features that residents and investors look for is the accessibility and availability of quality, affordable healthcare,” he stated. “One needs to know that if something goes wrong in the middle of the night they can access immediate quality healthcare…So from where I sit as Prime Minister, we would not achieve our goal of leading Dominica to the next level unless we had exceptional public healthcare services that meet the basic needs of citizens, residents and visitors alike.”
He also applauded the distinguish work of healthcare practitioners in Dominica.
Skerrit declared Monday as one of the brightest days of his journey in politics and public life in Dominica.
He promised not to exit office without delivering to the people of Dominica a modern state of the art hospital, “and that promise ladies and gentlemen I intend to keep and deliver.”
Skerrit explained that during the construction of the new hospital there will be some inconveniences and potential hiccups along the way.
He said the turning of the soil is not only for the commencement of the construction of the new hospital, but it must also symbolize Dominica unto another social and economic advancement.
“We are sending a clear message to the world that Dominica shall not be left behind,” he stated.
Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux the hospital will be constructed to meet international standards.
“Ladies and gentlemen the new national hospital will be constructed to meet international standards and when complete in 2019 will replace the current PMH facility which we all know has served well beyond its years,” he said.
According to him, the new facility will offer a range of essential medical services which includes; “a two four-floor ward building that will provide accommodation for male and female medical and surgical patients, paediatrics , gynaecology, two new medical technology buildings for clinical labs and blood bank services, dialysis services, radiology, to include a CT Scan, a state of the art MRI and High Frequency Focused Ultrasound, with a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a pathology department and a four room operating theatre.”
Dr. Darroux said a new modern Accident and Emergency Department with emergency rooms and emergency operating rooms, asthma rooms, doctor and nursing rooms among others will also be constructed.
He noted also that there will be accommodation for the teaching department with classrooms, single and double room hostels for consultants and students and a theatre-style lecture hall.
He said the Ophthalmology unit will also have new accommodations.
Meantime; Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Dominica, His Excellency Li Jiangning said the occasion was momentous for Dominica and for China-Dominica relations.
According to him, this project is testament of the deep and lasting friendship between the two countries.
He said the new hospital will bring higher quality health to Dominica, “in the years to come.”
“I am confident that this new facility when it is completed in a couple of years time it will enhance the capacity of Dominica..,” he stated. “It will contribute to long term, social and economic development of this beautiful country. Good things need time and effort to come through.”
The hospital will be constructed by HUNAN Construction Engineering Group Corporation.
The construction of the hospital is being done at a cost of US$40-million funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and is expected to take approximately thirty (30) months to complete.