Modular approach the best plan

From Queen to Kings–land, that is the proposal. Will the announced location for a new hospital stand final scrutiny? Only time will tell.

There are so many variables to consider before the final design and plan is agreed. Do we, for instance, have a central hub of technical and diagnostic equipment suites, accessed from the wards? And these wards will have sufficient land space for future expansion; just a thought.

More important in my view, however, is the actual construction. Do we need to build the complete plant in one go? No. Rather, I am suggesting a modular approach which would have a number of advantages. The first is the staggered financing. Yes, it may cost more in the long run but in the end the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages.

Let us start, say, with a children’s hospital and a maternity/obstetrics and gynaecology wing. Other female illness would continue to be treated at the QEH. The treatment and diagnostic equipment would be housed in a building with redundant space for future needed equipment for the rest of the hospital.

As each wing is added and the specialised equipment acquired, the end result would be that not all your equipment is of the same age and not all obsolete at the same time had all aspects of the hospital been built in one go. Perhaps it takes 10 to 12 years to complete, then your latest diagnostic tools would be 10 to 12 years more recent than the first set.

Over time new building materials may come to light; new methods of cooling will become a reality; further advances will be made in more efficient wind turbines and solar power devices and even the incinerator may be producing electricity. See what I mean? Build and review each module’s efficiency.

Fund raising for construction could also come from Barbadians and our friends from around the world with an appeal to “buy a square block – 10? blocks” for “$ X” per square block. A company could donate a car park or part thereof; others might supply part of the kitchen or laundry equipment whilst agreeing to service it free for a number of years. The major donations would be compensated by tax write-offs over a number of years. Modular is the moment.

— Michael Rudder

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