Funds for eye center in jeopardy

This medical center was built by the Brenda Strafford Foundation in Jamaica
This medical center was built by the Brenda Strafford Foundation in Jamaica

Dominica may lose funds which it received for the construction for an Eye Center more than ten years ago.

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Hazel Shillingford-Ricketts has revealed that the Brenda Strafford Foundation based in Calgary, Canada donated $1-million towards that project since 2000 to build a larger structure to be referred to as an “Eye Center,” however that project has been delayed.

The CEO of the Brenda Strafford foundation is expected on the island later this month to discuss the project with the government.

“Mr. Barrie Strafford, the CEO of that foundation is hoping to be in Dominica later this month and this is the main reason for him coming to Dominica to engage government in discussion to find out what are their plans for that,” she said at a press conference organized by the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities.

Dr. Shillingford-Ricketts revealed that the money is in an account at the Royal Bank of Canada for a number of years and is up at $250,000 interest to date.

Dr. Ricketts believes that an eye center is very important for the island.

“The idea of an eye center is very important to Dominica, because we have to increase our services to the public so we therefore need the infrastructure, the house, the equipment and the various personnel required to deliver the service,” she noted.

She stated that the late John Fabien, who was once the Permanent Secretary in the Ministery of Health, had arranged to have lands adjacent to a tank on the Princess Margaret Hospital compound made available for the construction of the center.

“Plans were drawn and it was actually tendered out on three different occasions,” she said.

She noted however, that because of the delay from 2000 to the time they were ready to begin construction, “There was a shortage of funds because of the increase of material, the cost of material…” she said.

According to information from the website, “,” Brenda Strafford Foundation has offered distinguished service as a nursing home and assisted care facility leader in several countries, including Dominica and Jamaica.

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  1. Anonymous
    October 8, 2014

    They want to own the building on government property after giving just 1 million of the total amount needed. Is that fair? No way. Please doc tell us all the details.

    • ASK!!!!!!!
      October 8, 2014

      Anonymous…..But why can’t they own the building if they paid to build it and the govt lease the land to them. This is done in every civilized country …..

      If they own the building they will have to maintain it and not the tax payers.

      No commonsense from you and the administration…….

  2. Plenty Bowdelle
    October 8, 2014

    Look Bowdelle

  3. real possie
    October 8, 2014

    Dominican people are the best, just what two months ago had the Chinese medical delegate on island doing major eye for free, they left the expensive machines behind for us to use. The comments were around what seven now something seems negative you all jumping around like kangaroos, I swear you people are here only when things are bad. Don’t get me wrong the facility would be great at the same time I would really like to hear from the people that’s really in charge to speak to the nature as to why they never used the funds or construct the building, I think the government let things go to far before opening their mouths to let people know what’s really going on be it good or bad. Wake up people, in ending with all of you that’s running you all mouth there’s a place you can go to right now to have major eye work done at the PMH at a very reduced cost.

  4. Toure
    October 8, 2014

    UNESCO report mirrored that same dogmatic attitude. Years after giving equipment and funds for a certain project ,the equipment were stored away and funds did something else.
    Something is tremendously worrisome about our attitude and appreciation .There are more to come out and raise concerns. Mowt open story jump out.C’est la vie end Dominique.

  5. lon
    October 7, 2014

    DNO what about the good things the Dr said about our services ?. boy boy way papa.

  6. Anonymous
    October 7, 2014

    Please educate yourself people. The terms and conditions – the devil is in the detail

  7. Sout Man
    October 7, 2014

    For a period of ten years, this is way too long. That reflects poorly on the government, especially the Ministries of Health and Finance. One million is not going to build a mansion but we can sew our clothes according to our cloth (or something like that-help me!). We can build a decent building even if the government has to add another million.

    That’s bureaucracy at its best. No room for expensive consultants, over-priced engineers and architects so the best thing was to do nothing. What a shame! Any graduate optometrist or ophthalmologist needs an equipped office/center. Does it cost one million. I do not know but we can build according to our resources.

  8. Anonymous
    October 7, 2014

    Even the blind can see that the dlp doesn’t care about the needy people in Dominica. We are still waiting for the state of the art hospital all u promised

  9. Anonymous
    October 7, 2014

    No move on it because there cannot b any hanky-panky. The foundation will decide on the contractor and manage

  10. nash
    October 7, 2014

    The same govenment that making things expensive. And just have those people money hold up, they want to start the project closer to election to say it was there idea. Wicked set of people. Is cuba they want every body to go just to say they send how much 1000 people cuba for eyes.

  11. Itassi Too
    October 7, 2014

    Ms. Kesha Nicholas, this is something the entire nation would like you to call Prime Minister Skerrit about. After all, he is the PM and according to the doctor, funds for this project has been sitting at Royal Bank for many years. Furthermore Ms. Nicolas, Skerrit is the person you, owner of vibes, and the DLP, have been pushing as the Pm that loves the poor and elderly; why does he not demonstrate that love by pushing for the project since the poor, the elderly and persons with disabilities really need such care? Please call Skerrit ms. Kisha Nicholas and be sure to put the entire interview with him on YouTube.

    • Really
      October 7, 2014

      I am certainly sure he will not rant and rave,froth in the mouth and insult her.I am sure of that!

      • fabric
        October 7, 2014

        You are kinda right. But that is because she will continue NOT doing her actual Job (or maybe the nonsense she does is acutally her job).

  12. yesa
    October 7, 2014

    lol the money in the bank for all that years and they kia build the eye center my god. lol where the money for yhe childrens hospital too ? which bank it is? tthe cost of material to build the eye center is high so i wonder if it not high for young peoplle in this country who wants to build there house. i just doeno what kia country is that. them ministers there in so much nasty bobol .call the election let us take out that dark red cloud over the island

  13. Shameless
    October 7, 2014

    “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
    Helen Keller

    This is sad indeed because I believe that government ministers and their cohorts would benefit the most from this Eye Center reason being they have sight but lack vision! And to think we still have technocrats, diasporans, intellectuals, clergy and even common men with basic common sense shouting “labor ka twavaye”. Where have all the good men in my country gone? Who are managing the so called managers? Captain, captain, captain the ship has sunken and we are in an air pocket on life support so PLEASEEEE call Team Dominica to the rescue. Hence another reason why Change Is A Must!

    Assertive, NOT Agressive! :twisted:

  14. Anonymous555
    October 7, 2014

    so let me see….ten years ago (1million) was received to built an eye clinic it’s sitting in the bank you’ll received 250,000. in interest yet it’s not being built i wonder who is responsible u’ll say u hav the land b’cuz john fabien arranged for it (may his soul rest in peace) tendered (3) times yet it can’t be built…no one said any thing in ten years u’ll jus sit there watchin …now it’s election now all guns blazing, WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAS TO BE THE GOVERNMENT ? you’ll silent for all these years you’ll never said anything now allu want to paint the government incompetent….my god..alice was really in wonderland now she found her way back so she seein….. :oops:

    • smh
      October 7, 2014

      Looks like you didn’t take your time to read the story I figure the good doctor coming forward now cause the donators after so many years coming back for their money because the government not doing anything with it. It just so happen that the donator coming next week and trust me they don’t give a d***n if is election or not on this lil island.

    • truth
      October 7, 2014

      annoymous ,you making your children ashame of you ,, you would even dlame your own children for the state of the country instead of skeritt,you are a begger ,nothing else ,you need some independancy,to be able to call a spade ,a spade

    • wonder
      October 7, 2014

      I was thinking the same thing somebody under pressure so they have to talk, for ten year what a shame in our face people in high office holding the country bad and is not that alone there is must more to see and hear wicked

  15. shaka zulu
    October 7, 2014

    I see great potential for this center. With one of the very few eye surgeon in the region this place could serve the Caribbean. Medical tourism. I do not need to explain further.

    I am tired of pointing a finger at the Government cause they have already proven they are useless. I am now us on new strategy. Where are the capable people who sit by and say nothing. Ten years is too long. Inflation has kicked in so guess what, cost of construction went up from ten years. We need to demand better as a people. The time for silence and pacifism is over. I get the feeling the older generation don’t give a hoots about their children future. We have the power to get things done, not the government, especially this current one.

    • shaka zulu
      October 7, 2014

      Meant passivism NOT pacifism. In no way I am encouraging war.

  16. really?
    October 7, 2014

    Am I understanding that we have a million dollars which is sitting in a bank account for more than 10 years and we cannot start the eye centre?
    Why are the powers that be keep dragging their feet. I support the statement that the management of the ministry of health are not able to manage the ministry well. Something is lack and it is sad that we continue to fail the people of Dominica repeatedly

  17. anonymous
    October 7, 2014

    SO what was the hold up. the money is right here with interest …

  18. Chakademus
    October 7, 2014

    Seriously? We have a million dollars sitting in an account and we cannot even put up a building? So not only are we broke but we are incompetent too? Please Lord only you can help us!

    • Anonymous
      October 7, 2014

      If the building would cost $10 million, that may explain what we cannot put up a $10 million building with $1 million. Just saying!

      In the absence of the facts. all we do is speculate.

      • Hmm
        October 7, 2014

        Eyes wide open. Now shaking my head.
        Are you serious Anonymous?

        You getting a gift of 1 million for something that is necessary and in 10 years you can not come up with a plan in your budget to get the rest of the funds IF the 1million is not enough. This government is a waste of time.

    • Princess Di
      October 7, 2014

      You know what I mean? And look at how they put up the money for the Silver Lake Housing Project so fast…they dragging their feet on the eye center, because they know that one they cannot borbol de money. The Strafford Foundation would let them account for every dollar spent.

      So…no kickbacks for “de boys and dem”, no eye center for us…

      Jesus take the wheel!

  19. eye center
    October 7, 2014

    Would that center be part of the new hospital? If so, why doesn’t Dr. Ricketts know about it. Am I smelling something????

    • Cops @Robbers
      October 7, 2014

      :twisted: The new Phantom hospital.

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