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St Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project Synopsis

QUESTIONS are still being asked about the construction works currently underway at the St Jude Hospital site. Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre for instance, at a press conference yesterday asked how the contractor for the hospital reconstruction was chosen.

“Where are the plans for the hospital’s expansion?” he put forth. “Where is the Bill of Quantities? Who is supervising the project?”

The government, in the person of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Development, Claudius Emmanuel, this week addressed some of the concerns about the project which resumed construction work in February 2019.

Emmanuel said a new wing had been introduced to the project and that the project, as it continues, will be integrated with existing buildings on the site. The hospital when completed will be a 90-bed facility, an increase from 68 beds before the fire. Funding for the project is US$20 million, which is from a loan Saint Lucia is in the process of finalizing with the Exim Bank of the Republic of China.

“Currently the structural frame of the project is under construction and as we speak it’s about 40 percent complete,” Emmanuel said.

He said the main contractor on the project is OECC (Overseas Engineering and Construction Company), which is a Taiwanese based company with the sub-contractor being Fresh Start Construction (Local Company).

Emmanuel also said the project had benefited from DCA approval and so as of December 2019, architectural designs were approved with full designs pending.

“With the structural frame continuing into the month of May, we anticipate that by October 2020, we will move into the next phase which is mechanical, electrical and plumping services. We anticipate that by November 2020 there will be a transition with the Ministry of Health moving in to ensure that we have a functioning hospital that is open to the public by Christmas 2020,” Emmanuel said, noting that the buildings on the hospital site with blue roofs will be part of the functioning facility.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

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