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Construction of the EC$27 million Mental Hospital to Start in November 2005

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - The governments of Saint Lucia and China on Monday September 19th 2005 signed the contract for the construction of the new mental hospital. Hon. Damian Greaves Minister of Health, Family Affairs and Gender Relations who witnessed the signing says the EC$27 million facility is just one component of the ministry’s overall plan to transform the island’s health system.

“I said and let me reiterate; this physical structure, the new mental health facility is part of the new thrust in mental health reform in the Ministry of Health. Coupled with this is the whole strategic plan for the ministry of health of which mental health is a significant part,” the Health Minister added.

According to the Minister the many employment opportunities for Saint Lucian nationals has been underscored, and, “this will have a positive multiplier effect on the local economy.” He added that the excavation works are now in progress on the Millennium Highway site to facilitate construction scheduled to commence towards the latter part of November this year.

As far as the construction time table is concerned, the Chinese Ambassador says it is his government’s intention to hand over the project on schedule. “I sincerely hope that St. Lucia will finish the ground level work on time, and on China’s side we will start the hospital project as soon as possible. So let us work together hand in hand and complete the psychiatric hospital project completely and beautifully,” he said.

Construction of the mental hospital will be jointly undertaken by St. Lucians and the Chinese Foreign Economic Construction Group, Anhui, and is earmarked for completion in the first quarter of 2007.

The contract was signed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mr. Fedalis Williams, on behalf of the government of St. Lucia, and the Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Gu Haming.

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