A formal decision is yet to be made to determine the way forward for the reconstruction of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) buildings that were destroyed by fire in August.
According to Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Mr Michael Khan, the Minister of Health and the hospital’s board of directors are yet to make a pronouncement on the matter, since the matter has to be first discussed at Cabinet.
He pointed out that Cabinet has the responsibility of deciding whether the newly constructed buildings will house observation wards, or whether they will be dedicated to different purposes.
Additionally, he disclosed that the amount to be spent on the buildings will be another decision that Cabinet has to make.
In an earlier interview, Mr Khan had informed that it is anticipated that such extensive works would amount to more than $20 M.
And, according to him, once the plans for reconstruction are discussed, the minister and the board will put forward a proposal, and approval for funding to complete the works will be sourced from the Ministry of Finance, which will be tasked with monitoring how spending is done.
In the meantime, Mr Khan related, the removal of debris from the intended area of construction is ongoing, even as he expressed optimism that works could commence early next year.
Mr Khan disclosed that a section of the destroyed facility was also used to conduct training programmes to boost the capacity of the hospital. He added that efforts will be made to intensify training programmes, once space is made available.
Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy had earlier revealed that the gutting of the buildings, while unfortunate, fitted well into plans that were geared at having the aged buildings demolished to facilitate the construction of a new hospital wing.
According to the minister, the buildings that were burnt down included the in-patient building for the psychiatric wards that were being phased out.
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