Construction of new hospital to begin at the end of October – Darroux

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

The actual construction of the much-talked about, China-funded new national hospital will begin at the end of October, Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux has said.

He was addressing the Thirtieth Meeting of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) /Pooled Procurement Services (PPS) Policy Board and the Third Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Member States at the Fort Young Hotel on Wednesday.

“Actual construction is due to begin, is set go begin rather, at the end of this month, a new US$40 million gift from our friends the Peoples Republic of China,” he stated.

However, Darroux told participants of the event that new hospitals will not “cut it” unless there is universal health coverage.

“These gains that we made in terms of the new infrastructure, the new specialized services, the new cancer center have to be accessible to each and every body, from the rural community – from Joe Farmer in the rural communities to Joe Minister in the capital of each of the countries,” he said.

He said health care should not be treated as a “fancy restaurant” or “designer stuff” accessible to only to “the rich and famous.”

“It should be accessible to one, all and sundry,” he noted.

The contract for the hospital was signed between the government and Hunan Construction Engineering Group Corporation in December 2015 and ground was broken in August, 2016. It is one of four pillar projects contained in a memorandum of understanding signed between Dominica and People’s Republic of China in 2004.

Talks of the new hospital have been floating around for about six 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.

In December 2015 it was revealed that two technical teams from the People’s Republic of China are presently in Dominica and one of them will be reviewing plans for the hospital.

In May, Darroux said the project had “essentially started.”

Ground breaking for the new hospital took place in August 2016
Ground breaking for the new hospital took place in August 2016

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18 Comments

  1. Nudibranch
    October 16, 2016

    Dr Darroux
    There is a million dollar hyperbaric chamber in the “old building”, with an oxygen generator capable of saving the hospital $250,000 a year in paying a monopoly, they could use the money for medication, bandages perhaps..
    It takes no time at all for a period of 10-12 daily half hour treatments to begin to remedy diabetic limb injury, Yet limbs are routinely hacked off, The chamber was put in as a safety blanket for the dive sector, yet they have used it twice in 10 years…. how many limbs could have been saved. Will this chamber and oxygen generator be reinstalled as fully functional pieces of emergency equipment for diabetic and scuba dive injury, or should they allow it to be installed at a private facility? The O2 generator was to supply the needs of the whole hospital. Is it still working or was it allowed to rot to go give money to the monopoly.

  2. October 16, 2016

    Dr. Punja, there is a fundamental difference between construction and renovation.
    How can you break grounds, for somethings that is already on the ground?
    Clown you are losing control of the puppets.
    The hospital is currently in need of supplies, medicine, proper nutrition and most of all caring and competent health personnel?

  3. Craziness
    October 15, 2016

    How about fix the garbage allu already have? The joke called Princess Margaret Hospital? The one that leaks when it rains, lacks medication, supplies, and working machines! Let’s see the Chinese funded project use Chinese workers, like the when they paved the highway from Roseau to Portsmouth! Take food out of Dominicans mouth #useless #wasteof $,

  4. Dominica I love
    October 14, 2016

    Let’s give God thanks. Hope is alive in Dominica!!!

  5. DomiChina
    October 14, 2016

    I had an experience once that I went to the hospital. I had did some strenuous work which affected my shoulders and it came swollen and painful. I went to the hospital after TS Erica. I was there for almost three hours. After I was put to see a physician, I received one injection on my buttocks and a prescription with antibiotics. I remember I was already taking antibiotics before coming to the hospital so I never bothered to continue taking more.
    After visiting a private doctor who assessment me, he told me that I had disrupted a tendon in the shoulder and prescribed some voltaren tabs and a special rub ointment. in less that two weeks, my shoulders were better.
    I said all of this to say: the structure has nothing to do with the service.
    you could have no structure and efficient service

    The other thing is that there a plenty of structures starting, but the completion is flooded away.

  6. CRIME STOPPERZ
    October 14, 2016

    I supposed the politician think a hospital is only a big building, because if they can put equipment or even basic drugs and bandages in the old one, I wonder what will be in the new one

  7. Horsepital
    October 14, 2016

    I have the feeling it will finish before it start or begin. :mrgreen: :lol:

  8. Preachere
    October 14, 2016

    Surprise the critics have not said a word
    Well done Labour
    Keep working

    • troof
      October 14, 2016

      Well Done? It is a pity, first the Lindo Park playing field now the Hospital. They trying to breakdown goodwill it seems. How can you build a major hospital right next to the old one which is not sealed off from the external elements? The people are supposed to be healing and getting better and it seems that all the dust, cement, noise, traffic of heavy equipment, loud talking and shouting from workers. i mean, yes we need improved medical facilities but COME ON MAN! It is bad enough the conditions as it is now at PMH but they will be compounded 10x with this new construction happening RIGHT NEXT TO IT ON THE CAME COMPOUND! Yes hospitals all over the world renovate and expand, but they are sealed off with proper AC, ventilation away from all dust and flying particles, equipped with lighting, noise reduction as patients would be kept away from these activities. I mean do we even know what the hell we are doing in this country? what is wrong here?

    • Anthony P. Isamel
      October 14, 2016

      Are you for real? How many patients have died since the government proposed building a new hospital? Keep drinking the Labor Kool Aid.

  9. viewsexpressed
    October 13, 2016

    These guys are a bunch of political circus with no hope of getting anywhere achieving anything substantial. Its just a big show with a well written faked script. Please Dominicans be reminded that a building is not a hospital, it is the services that are in there makes the quality of service necessary and that no one flies to another county on emergency for basic health care.

    • Nudibranch
      October 16, 2016

      Anyone notice that with diabetes running rampant, there are no sugar free drinks sold at the vendor stall in the hospital, Why is this? Chubby, Busta, Coke, and nothing for anyone diabetic who needs fluids…

  10. CONSCIOUS
    October 13, 2016

    I APPRECIATE THE TIMELINE .

  11. kalaloo
    October 13, 2016

    just do the damn thing and done na, enless blaajee, one jhe woopla for thing that supposed to do 10 yrs ago.

  12. lollipophead.com
    October 13, 2016

    so where it located??? :?:

  13. Anthony P. Isamel
    October 13, 2016

    If I read about one more start date I will pull my hair out. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  14. voice
    October 13, 2016

    If Mrs. Skerrit have her next child there, I will trust it.

  15. Aye
    October 13, 2016

    hope my child born there first! :-D
    #BigThings

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