Construction work on the multimillion-dollar Western Children and Adolescent Hospital is progressing in the targeted timeline, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
Addressing the Standing Finance Committee in the House of Representatives on March 1, the Minister said while the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused delays in the work, it has resumed and should be completed on time.
“That project is going fairly well; it is a victim of COVID, but the contractors are moving very nicely. They have built five of the eight floors and are working to meet the 18 months for delivering the project,” Dr. Tufton said.
As it relates to escalating costs for the continued redevelopment of the St. James-based Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), the Minister pointed out that the bulk of the expenditure is going to partitions, equipment and other facilities.
“The things for a modern hospital, costs have gone up substantially,” the Minister said, adding that many of the issues that are being corrected were discovered after the work started, and the Government took a decision to solve all the problems and ensure that the citizens served by the hospital will have a well functionable healthcare institution.
The Western Children Adolescent Hospital will be the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, offering specialist medical care for children and young people up to the age of 18 years. It is being funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
For the upcoming fiscal year, works at the CRH are expected to be done to complete Phase 2B, commence design of Phase 3, build turnkey contract for the rehabilitation and redevelopment of floors 1-10 and attain 30 per cent completion; and continue procurement of information and communications technology (ICT) supplies and medical equipment.
Up to the end of December 2022, there was a 100 per cent completion of Phase 1, and Phase 2, as well as Phase 2A, and 80 per cent completion of Phase 2B.