Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph has hinted that based on information obtained from a preliminary report of the technical audit at St Jude Hospital, things may be worst than expected.
“The technical audit is very revealing from the information we have received,” Joseph said, while explaining that the preliminary report will be handed over in full to government next week.
However, the minister did not divulge any further details about the audit and is firm on his position not to name the company or individuals who were hired to conduct the technical audit.
“I have said that I am not dealing with anything as it relates to names. I am not calling the names of the previous contractors, consultants. And I have not called the name of the project manager,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Joseph said once the report is made available, everyone will have the opportunity to scrutinize what is happening with the construction of the St Jude Hospital.
He said, “I have been very open about everything that we are doing in government in terms of my ministry; what we inherited and what we are dealing with.”
The economic development minister said while many people have been making several comments about the audit, he maintains that it is something that was required given the many issues surrounding the hospital’s construction.
“So at the end of the day, should I as minister just inherit that project and carry on with it as if everything is okay? It’s not. So on that basis, we needed a technical audit.”
Some $95 million has already been spent on the project, which should have cost some $50 million instead. The new administration claims that another $50 million may be required to finish the hospital.
Initially, Joseph had said that the technical audit would have cost the government $800,000, but this cost may have increased due to additional components.
Construction at St Jude was suspended in July to facilitate the technical audit.
The government said the Kenny Anthony administration only provided so-called completion dates because of political expediency and was fully aware that the hospital could not be completed anytime soon.
Citizens in communities from the South have been inconvenienced and do not have access to the minimum standard of health care because of several deficiencies at the makeshift hospital at the stadium in Vieux Fort.