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Designs for New Mental Hospital Presented to Health Officials

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Thursday, August 04, 2005 - A major component of the island’s health reform process is to get underway in the coming weeks, with site preparation works to commence for the construction of a new mental health facility. The facility is being built at a cost of approximately EC$27 million and construction work is expected to begin towards the end of November 2005. The ultra-modern facility will incorporate an administrative building, diagnostic and treatment building and will house some 104 beds as part of its clinical services.

The final designs of the new facility were turned over to health officials on Thursday, 04 August 2005, following extensive consultation with the People Republic of China, financiers of the project. Minister for Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender Relations Honourable Damian Greaves at a handing over ceremony at the Conference Room of the Ministry of External Affairs and International Trade, said the new facility will provide a comprehensive service comprising acute care, rehabilitative as well as community care.

These services Mr. Greaves said will be provided at various stages of the health system namely primary, secondary and tertiary care levels. “Today what we are seeing is the commencement of, or the maturity of the plans for mental health reform on the island with the presentation of the documents and the designs for the new mental health facility.”

The Health Minister went to say that “What we have seen to date is the pursuit of pre-construction activities dealing with geological testing of the site and now we have reached this proud moment with the completion of the final designs.”

The new mental health facility will be located on the Millennium Highway some 150 yards from the second tunnel leading out of the city and adjacent to the proposed new General Hospital. When completed after the allotted 18 months, the facility will bring to three the number of major projects built on the island by the Peoples Republic of China. “Like the other two projects, the National Stadium and the Goods Distribution Free Trade Zone both located in Vieux-Fort, the Chinese workers will build it with great enthusiasm and good quality. I am sure that when it’s finished, this psychiatric hospital will be the best in the Caribbean,” said Chinese Ambassador to Saint Lucia His Excellency Gu Huaming.

Construction of the project will see Chinese workers working alongside their Saint Lucian counterparts while staffing and equipment for the new facility will be handled by the Government of Saint Lucia. The Ministry of Health announced that mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that these requirements are adequately met.

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