Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has said that work is moving “very fast” on the construction of the new state-of-the-art national hospital which is being constructed by the Government of China.
Construction works began on the China-funded hospital in October 2016, following the ground breaking in August of the same year.
However, work was halted following the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria on September 18th, 2017.
“Work is moving very fast; the Chinese contracting firm has really increased their pace and I would like to thank the Chinese Ambassador and the Chinese government for this,” Skerrit said.
According to him, the first phase will be handed over to Dominica by April 2019.
This, he said is “good news” for Dominica.
Skerrit indicated that his government had to take some time to do some changes to the design following Hurricane Maria, “so [for] the rest of the buildings outside of this first phase, the roof will be concreted”.
“There are some functional changes we had to make with the floor space – the use of the floor space, and the Chinese government has agreed to that,” he stated.
Meantime, the prime minister said in the second phase, a helipad will be constructed to be able to pick up patients at the hospital and transfer them to a hospital overseas.
He added, “We will have an increased water storage facility at the hospital to ensure that the hospital can run itself for several weeks in the event of a natural disaster.”
The US$40-million China-funded project forms part of the four-pillar projects agreed to in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the governments of Dominica and the People’s Republic of China when the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2004.
The contract for new National Hospital was signed between the Hunan Construction Engineering Group Corporation of China and the Ministry of Health and Environment on December 11, 2015.