THE Consultant Engineer on the St. Jude Hospital, Norman St. Ville, has described the amount of work required to complete the hospital as a phenomenal task.
He made this startling revelation during a tour to the hospital with media personnel, fire officers and government officials last week Wednesday.
“We have spent in excess of $100 million on the building and we are not yet 50% complete,” St. Ville revealed, adding that another $100 million is needed to complete the building.
He pointed to the many deficiencies with the hospital as the party toured the various sections of the building. These include low ceilings, corridors and rooms inadequately sized, excessively steep ramps, inadequate number of entrances to the hospital, poor lighting in certain sections, and the inability of the windows and doors to withstand hurricanes, among others.
Referring specifically to the three operating theatres in the hospital, St. Ville said they are too small, adding that two will have to merge to form one.
As it relates to the laboratory, he said it will require a lot of energy to run because it does not have enough lighting.
The flooring of the radiology section, he said, had to be broken down in order for equipment to fit into it.
St. Ville said to address some of these changes will require structural changes, which are costly.
According to him, there was no Development Control Authority (DCA) approval for the hospital.
“It is customary…but this one does not have one,” St. Ville said.
Asked whether it is better to renovate or rebuild the hospital, he did not give a precise answer, saying renovation is difficult, risky and costly.
“There is a lot of work to be done on the project,” he stressed.
Permanent Secretary in the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation, Phillip Dalsou, lamented that a lot of money had been spent on the current project. When asked where the money will come from in order to complete the project, he said: “Government needs to look at options in financing the completion of the project. At this point, funding sources are still being explored.”
He said the audit report has indicated that there are many deficiencies with the project, among them a leakage of radiation from one department to another.
Going forward, Dalsou said: “We would have to offer the best advice to the policymakers who will have to make the decisions. We need to look at what is to be addressed and the cost of addressing the various issues.”
Meanwhile, Senior Communication Officer for the government, Nicole Mc Donald, has described the project as a disaster. She said there has been a lot of misinformation regarding the situation with the hospital, hence government found it important for people to see the problems for themselves via the media.