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World Bank to design, finance referral hospital at Arnos Vale – Gonsalves

World Bank to design, finance referral hospital at Arnos Vale – Gonsalves

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The World Bank has agreed to design and finance a 130-bed acute referral hospital on eight acres of land at Arnos Vale, in accordance with the design brief presented by Government.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, addressing a public meeting of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) at Rose Hall on Wednesday night, said experts from the World Bank, after conducting a study,{{more}} recommended the new city at Arnos Vale as the best place to put a new hospital.

“…The second best place, by some distance is Diamond.”

According to Gonsalves, the area of Diamond chosen by the World Bank as their second choice is not in East St George, but in the neighbouring constituency of South Windward.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) has said they will build a new state of the art hospital in East St George, should they form government after the December 9 elections.

The Prime Minister said the World Bank have also said that they are prepared to finance the acute referral hospital at Arnos Vale. He opined that they would not be willing to finance a hospital at a different site when they have already spent money on consultants who have selected Arnos Vale.

“So, when you hear [the NDP] talking about they going put hospital in East St George and that PAHO and World Bank going to finance it, well PAHO don’t finance hospital, they provide technical assistance.

“And they can’t go to the World Bank about something on a different site when the World Bank done spend a lot of money on the consultants from overseas and select Arnos Vale and already agree to the design.

“You see, they listen to their own echo chamber…. I talking about it all the time, but they ain’t listening to I. They gone on their own mad escapade.

“I have the World Bank select a site already. They going design the hospital and they have said that they will talk to me about financing it. They say they will give money from the European Union.”

Gonsalves said at present, the focal sector for the 10th European Development Fund is health and $34 million from a European Union grant is being spent on several projects, including the refurbishment of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital ($5.5 million); the construction of polyclinics at Buccament and Mespotamia ($4.5 million each); and the rebuilding of the Mental Health Centre ($3.5 million).

He said after spending that money, the European Union will ask the government to make the justification for more grants.

“You see, the fellows ain’t know what happening and the acute referral hospital with 130 beds will be integrated with the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and all our other facilities.

The acute referral hospital is being designed as a specialist hospital with six operating theatres to complement the five at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. New services at the acute referral hospital include a private ward, an increase in critical/ICU care, oncology, cardiology, neurology, pulmonology and telemedicine.

“What you going to move MCMH for? We fixing it up, we are spending a lot of money on it. We have dealt with the drainage system, there are some other things we have to do in improving it further.

“The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital has 206 beds. The acute referral, 130, that will put it 336 beds. The three rural hospitals existing now and the two health centres have between them 67 beds and the medical complex (at Georgetown) is adding another 25; a total of 450 throughout the whole country with the necessary diagnostic and support services.

“You understand the plan?” he quipped.