MONTEGO BAY, St James — Opposition spokesperson on health and wellness Dr Morais Guy has expressed satisfaction with progress of construction at Western Children and Adolescent Hospital in St James.
“I am very pleased with what I’ve seen. We had a very significant guided tour by the project team and we saw where, between my last visit here in April of last year compared to now — which is one year and six months later — significant work has been done,” he told journalists following a walk-through of the under-construction facility on Wednesday. He was joined on the tour by several other members of the People’s National Party’s hierarchy.
Dr Guy pointed to construction of the ground floor and the almost-completed roof of the eighth floor as progress made, but acknowledged that there is still a lot to be done before the hospital opens its doors. He said the latest deadline provided was March 2024.
The 220-bed facility, which is being constructed with financial support from the People’s Republic of China, will serve patients from birth to age 18.
The building and equipment have a $7-billion price tag.
In addition to the room stock, it will have a pharmacy, emergency room, dialysis room, administration-related areas, plus other departments to make it fully functional.
On Wednesday, Dr Guy said he was looking forward to one particular feature of the hospital.
“We were advised that plans are in place to continue to commit to the original proposal to have sections of the complex reserved for parents of children who may need to have the parents close by during their recovery period, to enhance recovery,” he stated.
The group of Comrades also visited the Cornwall Regional Hospital which is being renovated, and Dr Guy also noted that there had “been some significant improvement” such as restoration work done on the beams and ceilings.
“I’ve not been in the basement but I’m assured that those have been completed,” he said.
“We have seen the entire gutting of the structure, which was not there last year, so in terms of the development between then and now, yes, some work has been done,” he added.
However, Dr Guy pointed out that the pace of the work had slowed.
“I would have hoped that there was more work but I am now understanding the reason and rationale for that work not having been done in that there is only an engagement in September of this year of the contractor who will do the final phase,” he stated.