Caribbean news. Work has started in earnest on what is popularly referred to as the metal/steel structure at the St. George’s General Hospital.

On Tuesday an official from the Government Information Services (GIS) made a visit to the site where workmen were observed welding and bolting metal frames while crane operators were also seen moving heavy building materials for installation.

The announcement of the recommencement of work on Phase 2 of the General Hospital project was made in July of 2014, at a joint news conference and signing ceremony by Works Minister, Gregory Bowen and former Health Minister, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen along with Mr. German Gonzales, the Project Manager of Inversiones 7000 A.C,C.A, construction company.

St Georges Hospital

One of the first buildings almost completed under that project is the former Eye Ward. As part of the project, contractors will also carry out work on the Obstetrics-Gynecology ward.

However the metal/steel structure is expected to house the new Accident and Emergencies Department, Laboratory and Imaging to name a few.

Phase 2 of the General Hospital project, was supposed to be a major development at the General Hospital as it relates to services delivery and access for investment.

St Georges Hospital

Following the July 2008 general elections, the Hospital project (Ph-2) was abandoned by the then Tillman Thomas administration who claimed that the building was inadequately designed and promised a new hospital.

Not being able to fulfill their promise of a new hospital, when the (NDC administration) lost the elections in February 2013, the new Keith Mitchell Government then engaged a number of local and international consultants.

At last July’s signing the then Health Minister Dr. Modeste-Curwen told reporters that the continuation of phase 2 does not in any way take away from our commitment to a new hospital.

“A new hospital is very much on Government’s agenda and we are looking for alternative financing. The Ministry of Finance has held discussions with several entities that are interested in a public private partnership” she explained.

St Georges Hospital

Dr. Modeste-Curwen noted that, “The previous Government had started work on the concept and we believe that it was a justified move to make. Of course the cost was phenomenal (a number of millions) and our hesitation coming into office was that the plan was based on a loan agreement and because the nation is all concerned about the public debt we felt that with the state of the economy it was not the best thing to go into at this time,”.

Phase 2 of the General Hospital project is expected to cost US250,000.00 – while component 2 will cost US1.03M. The project is funded by the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.