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Minister gives update on progress on new hospital

Government has declined to provide a schedule of payments for the new hospital. Responding to a question by One Bermuda Alliance MP Grant Gibbons, Health Minister Zane DeSilva said that the Bermuda Hospitals Board’s accounts, tabled annually would provide that information.

Dr Gibbons was following up on a Statement by the Health Minister updating Parliament on the progress made on the construction of the new hospital.

Mr DeSilva had informed the House that the construction was on schedule and on budget.

And, he said, there was no chance that any cost overruns would hit the taxpayer because of the terms of the public private partnership.

“The cost of the project is already locked in. The contract is signed,” the Minister said. “This is a major benefit of a PPP project. It provides cost security for us and at the same time also provides a major incentive for Paget Health Services, our private partner, to ensure that the project is completed on time.”

He told the House that progress on the foundation had proceeded apace with excavation completed, the largest concrete pour in the Island’s history and the water tank completion.

More than $110 million in orders had been placed, $100 million of which were with local businesses.

“In addition, a further $21 million of spending associated with this project has already taken place in the local economy and on the site over 60 percent of the workforce are Bermudians or spouses of Bermudians.”

Last month the average number of workers on the project was 89, but that statistic will peak to 250 in time, the Minister said.

The project is 15 percent complete and is on schedule to be done by March 2014, Mr DeSilva said.

OBA MP Louise Jackson asked the Minister to explain problems relating to electrical installation at the hospital. But the Minister declined saying his statement related to the foundation of the hospital.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Mrs Jackson said. “And the Minister had stated his intent to update the House on the construction of the hospital, she said. “Electricity is a part of the construction of the hospital.”

Mrs Jackson further asked the Minister to give a timeline for the construction of an Extended Care Unit “as it’s not a part of the construction of the new hospital”.

“The Member answered her own question. It is not a part of the new hospital,” Mr DeSilva said.

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Published November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated November 28, 2011 at 8:59 am)

Minister gives update on progress on new hospital

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