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To Kingsland

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss.

The proposed new general hospital for Barbados will be constructed at Kingsland in Christ Church.

Health Minister Donville Inniss told Barbados TODAY this evening that the decision was based on recommendations from the technocrats in his ministry. Inniss revealed that the Government would be in a position by the end of this year, to tender for expressions of interests in the new ultra modern primary health care facility.

The minister informed this newspaper that the Cabinet of Barbados has agreed to go out immediately to international tender for funding of the institution.

“The size and cost of the hospital were still to be determined. Geotechnical and environmental impact assessment studies will now have to be carried out,” he added.

The minister of health also disclosed that the property was being turned over to the Ministry of Housing and Lands to deal with acquisition.

When Inniss first announced the government’s decision to build the new hospital, he had noted that if a 600 room facility were to be constructed, it could cost in excess of $800 million.†He had also said the Government was looking for a “green field” of between 20 to 30 acres to build the hospital. One of the main considerations for constructing a new hospital, Inniss explained, was that the QEH was at risk from storm surges. In addition to that, he argued that there was no room to expand or build around it, and that it was currently in use.

The health minister said too, that the decision to establish a new facility stemmed from concerns from members of the public and staff about service, parking, quality of rooms, among other issues. He pointed out that a main factor which led to this state of affairs was that efficient maintenance of the hospital was lacking.

The planning for the new building, Inniss revealed, was the responsibility of a special team which replaced the Redevelopment Unit within the QEH. That unit was being absorbed into, and operated out of the Ministry of Health. One of the other issues which authorities agreed could be resolved with the establishment of the new institution, was the high cost of running the QEH due to its lack of capacity to meet the increasing demands of the public. (EJ)

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