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, “http://www.lieutenantgovernor.ab.ca/aoe/community-service/barrie-i-strafford,” Brenda Strafford Foundation has offered distinguished service as a nursing home and assisted care facility leader in several countries, including Dominica and Jamaica.