A rendering of the proposed Modern Acute 140 bed Hospital at Arnos Vale.
News
April 1, 2022
Construction of new hospital to begin next year

The necessary foundation is being laid this year for the construction of a new state-of-the-art hospital to commence at the beginning of 2023. 

Finance minister, Camillo Gonsalves gave an update on the pending project last Sunday, March 27 while speaking on WEFM’s ‘Issue at Hand’ programme. 

The minister revealed that the World Bank, the entity that is providing funding for the new hospital, was in-country during the third week of March to discuss several aspects of the project. 

One of the main topics of discussion surrounded the cost of the project. 

“Things have gotten more expensive over the last couple years. So construction is more expensive so we were doing some value engineering to make sure that every dollar that we plan to spend on construction is optimised and we can build it as affordably and efficiently as possible,” Gonsalves said. 

He noted that construction drawings and all relevant schematics for the design of the hospital had been completed. 

So too, a list of equipment and their costs has also been compiled. 

“They (The World Bank) also came to look at our existing equipment at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital because when the original designers designed it, they assumed essentially that all the equipment we put in the new hospital will be new equipment but since that design has taken place, we’ve bought things,” the finance minister said, adding that a new CT scanner had recently arrived and is currently in the process of being installed. 

This machine, along with other recently purchased machinery will likely be used in the new hospital scheduled for construction. 
Gonsalves said that during the visit the Bank officials also sought to evaluate ways in which the management of the hospital can be optimised.

“…How we can optimise the management of our healthcare sector to make sure that we are spending money efficiently, to make sure that we are billing people and collecting money in an efficient way, to make sure that the services that we most need, that the services we offer, to evaluate how many more nurses we’re going to need, how many more specialists we’re going to need,” he explained. 

And this is being done, according to the minister, to ensure that when the new building is completed, there will be no inefficiencies. 

He said at least US$55 million will be released by the World Bank in the second half of the year and once that funding is approved, the hospital project will go out to tender. 

“It’s going to be an international tender so you’re talking about a three month press before you get a winning bidder. And then you’re talking about another month or so for that winning bidder to mobilise, depending on where they’re coming from,” Gonsalves said. “So I believe in all practical senses, we can talk about beginning the hospital essentially first thing in 2023, as a brand new project for the 2023 year.”