THA Chief Secretary Orville London has appealed to Tobagonians to be patient in waiting for the new 100-bed Tobago General Hospital being constructed at Signal Hill.
Construction of the hospital started in March 2003 and was due for completion in April 2005. However, the project was delayed for a number of reasons among them was a dispute with the original contractors NH International (Caribbean) Limited. Then the hospital building was estimated to cost $136.5 million. Cost of the building including the state of the art equipment was now estimated to cost $700 million.
China Railway Construction Limited which is now the contractor has promised to deliver the project in June following which there will be a commissioning period of at least three to six months.
London, speaking at the commissioning of the $28 million Scarborough Health Centre at Bacolet Park on Tuesday told Tobagonians that the first patients would not be admitted until a few months later to allow for the testing of the equipment.
He said: “I just want the people of Tobago to be patient with the delivery of the hospital, recognising that as we have delivered in Roxborough, as we have delivered in Patience Hill, as we are delivering here today, as we will deliver in Charlotteville in a couple of months, we will deliver the Scarborough General Hospital.”
London described the centre as a magnificent project that would require magnificent service, adding that where physical infrastructure was concerned Tobago was far ahead of the rest of the country and the region.
The centre is the first of its kind in the country that will deliver dialysis services to patients. In addition to the normal services provided at health centres this new facility will have a walk-in clinic where a patient can get treatment from a doctor, HIV rapid testing and mental health services.
Additional and new specialist clinics will be introduced at the centre during the second quarter of this year. These include paediatrics, OB/GYN, surgery and foot care. Patients can also obtain such services as placement of permanent catheter and creation of fistula presently available only in Trinidad.