The Saint Lucia government has appointed a Taiwanese construction firm as the main contractor to complete the St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet made the announcement on his official Facebook page on Wednesday evening. The news also comes as Taiwanese President Her Excellency Tsai Ing-wen arrived in Saint Lucia on Wednesday on an official three-day visit. President Tsai Ing-wen, along with Chastanet and Minister Guy Joseph, participated in a sod-turning ceremony for the St. Jude project on Wednesday.
Chastanet said Overseas Engineering Construction Company (OECC) will be the “main contractor to execute this project and given their experience in construction and in building hospitals, we are confident that they will deliver this project on time and within budget”.
Chastanet said: “The St. Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project will deliver a 90-bed facility that will cater for both inpatient and outpatient services. It will comprise a new wing to incorporate all the functions and services of the existing East and Surgical Wings; inter- connected two-storey structures to be erected on the left- hand side of the entrance to the existing site; integration through retrofitting of some existing buildings to achieve a fully functioning hospital to match the services of a level 4 facility; and revision of the internal layout of buildings to be integrated for functional efficacy and compliance to minimum standards.”
He added: “From almost day one after the fire, Taiwan has been in the forefront of providing grant and loan assistance to Saint Lucia to finance the rebuilding of the St. Jude Hospital. Though we have had a series of setbacks and challenges along the way, that have caused frustration to both our government and our people as well as to those who had offered a hand in helping us cope with the fallout from the disastrous fire, we are motivated to deliver a new, state of the art hospital to the people of the south once and for ALL!”
When completed in 2020, Chastanet said “we hope to have in this area, a hospital that will erase the sad memories of the last 10 years that resulted in St Jude having to operate from a sports stadium”.
“I would again like to place on record my government’s appreciation for the patience and cooperation of the doctors, nurses and staff of St Jude during these very difficult 10 years and to promise them that we are now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let us all keep the faith and look to the future with confidence,” the prime minister added.