Opposition Leader and Parliamentary Representative for the Marigot constituency, Lennox Linton, has expressed his frustration at the pace of progress on construction of the Marigot Hospital.
The EC$13.5-million venture is to be funded by the Mexican government, with designs provided by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
On Q95 FM’s ‘Hot Seat’, last week, Linton noted that although he and other parliamentary representatives for the various constituencies in the area had met with the Health Minister, Kenneth Darroux, to discuss the hospital, he remains dissatisfied.
“All we have had for four years running is talk, talk and more talk, while the medical service required by the people of the area had deteriorated… and now is at risk of becoming nonexistent,” Linton said.
His statement follows Darroux’s comments on Kairi FM’s Heng programme on Saturday, in which he denied that people in the Marigot constituency are being politically victimized, after protest action in Marigot last week over the delay in the construction of the new hospital.
In his statement, the Health Minister claimed that construction was hindered by “bureaucracy” and the passage of Hurricane Maria.
The Opposition Leader went on to say, “If you are going to build a hospital, then you are going to build the hospital, and you are accepting contributions or donations from whoever would want to help you build the hospital. But it seems to me that this government has decided [that] somebody is going to help to build the hospital, and that person will determine the pace at which the hospital is built, the time when it is delivered or if it will be built at all.”
He suggested that the Government use its own funds to begin construction.
“We talk a lot about our own abilities, and the government boasts of its reserves, and the government boasts of the funds that have been coming into Dominica from the sale of passports…” he noted. “And you’re telling me that you cannot find anywhere in that… $20-million to put a health facility in Marigot for the north-eastern district…”
The Marigot Hospital was shut down in 2016 due to mold and fungus infestation of the building which housed the facility. Prior to this, it was shut down because of a severe termite infection.
In June 2016, Opposition Leader Lennox Linton wrote a letter to the Prime Minister raising concerns over the medical facility.
In December 2017, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said that the final documents had been signed and submitted to the Mexican Government for the construction of what he described as a “smart hospital” at Marigot.
Darroux stated that the final documents, agreed upon by both parties were signed just last week.
A date for the commencement of construction of the hospital has not yet been announced.