Eye opening

The $13 million Lion’s Caribbean Eye Care Centre should be open by December.

After being closed for more than three years, patients should start receiving treatment by December, at the controversial Lion’s Caribbean Eye Care Centre, now being refurbished at a cost of $13 million.

Project Manager at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dean Eccleston, told a media briefing at the QEH this morning, that the project comprised two major sections – refurbishment of the air conditioning system, considering that previously occupied sections of the five-storey facility had to be vacated due to air quality concerns, and the construction of a cardiac suite on the first floor.

Eccleston said hand-over of the various floors would be done gradually, beginning with the eye clinic, which he projected would be completed by the end of next month.

However, he explained that a month afterwards should be sufficient time to ensure the air quality was acceptable for patients to move in.

“When the clinic actually uses the space would then be determined by when it’s in optimal condition for occupancy …, no odour from paint, no dust, that kind of thing. So that is being delicately managed. Then by the end of the first quarter of next year, we are hoping to release the other sections,” the project manager added.

“Specifically for the cardiac suite,” Eccleston continued, “by the fourth quarter of the financial year, which is up to March next year. So let me simplify it by saying calendar year then; by the end of the fourth quarter of this calendar year, we’re looking to finish up, or hand over the eye clinic; and with the cardiac suite, we are looking at the first quarter of the next calendar year, to basically have infrastructure ready.”

He said the air conditioning component, which started in December last year, would run through to February next year, while the various floors were handed-over.

Based on the layout illustrated by Eccleston, the third floor would accommodate the operating theatre, the opthalmology section on the second floor, the cardiac suite on the first, outpatients on

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