by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): It’s been six years since the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Alexandra Hospital Expansion Project, and after the spending of millions, Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley, confirmed that the hospital has difficulties.
“In terms of the build-out of our health infrastructure, we are still embarking on the expansion of the hospital. We’ve run into some difficulties there, but we are seeking to find solutions for those difficulties. I assure the public that there has been no cost overrun. There has been no wastage, and we are taking the position that, since healthcare is not being adversely affected because we have a hospital at Alexandra which is functioning just fine, we will take our time and do the new hospital properly. That’s what we have said so that when we are done, we would have a state-of-the-art facility that would serve the people of Nevis and St. Kitts for at least another forty years. So, that project is ongoing. All the externals are done. I believe the windows are in. The external has been painted, so we are left now with the internal work. We’ve had some delays on that, but we will give a date on that in due course,” said Brantley during “On the Mark” on Wednesday, July 12 2023.
What are the difficulties?
WINN FM made efforts to contact Premier Brantley to discuss the recent disclosure but was unsuccessful.
Preparation for the new hospital wing started in 2014. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held in May 2017 with a $19 million budget estimate and a completion date of 24 months.
Once the estimated period of completion had passed, concerns started to mount. However, in response to the media at his Monthly Press Conference in January, Brantley said his desire was to have the edifice completed this year, but the contractors were doubtful.
In the NIA’s Budget Estimate for 2023, the premier informed that an additional $12 million had been budgeted for the completion of the Alexandra Hospital Expansion Project.
There has been much chatter and discussion about the hospital expansion project over the past year. After the exterior was painted, several individuals questioned whether it was a sham to cover up a project that seemingly had gone wrong.
In a brief conversation with WINN FM earlier this year, Premier Brantley said the project was on pause to facilitate the reconfiguration of the building’s interior.
The Alexandra Hospital Expansion Project is jointly funded by the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund and the Nevis Island Administration.