By April 30, the new billion-dollar Point Fortin Hospital project is expected to be completed and the mayor assured that burgesses are not against the decision to use the facility to provide supportive care for covid19 patients.
“We are prepared to allow the Ministry of Health and health care professionals to do what they have to do. We, as residents, will take and are taking the necessary precautions as outlined by the Ministry to safeguard ourselves,” said Kennedy Richards Jr. In the event of any setbacks, an area will still be ready by April 30 to help in the fight, he assured.
“In case it is needed, it will be available,” the Point Fortin mayor told Newsday by phone. It comprises three storeys on 16 acres of land at the corner of Techier and the Main Road. This 100-bed hospital has 175,000 square feet. Recently Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh announced that the hospital was one of the facilities identified to provide more strength as the need arises.
As of Thursday, TT had 114 covid19 cases. Earlier this month, residents of Brooklyn Settlement in Sangre Grande blocked the road with burning debris in protest over the decision to quarantine covid19 patients in the community.
“That will not happen in Point Fortin. We are not going to encourage that in Point. At the end of the day, it is an illness. It is highly contagious, not terminal. They are human beings as well. We are going to be our brother’s keeper.” At the site at Main Road in Techier Village on Thursday, work was ongoing. The main contractor is Austrian firm, Vamed.
In May 2015, the previous administration turned the sod for the hospital. Four months later, the PNM was elected into government and work later resumed. The PNM, Richards said, did most of the work.
The completion dates have been pushed back a few times because of several setbacks, including financial problems. Currently, Point Fortin has an Area Hospital at Volunteer Road in Mahaica. The South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is responsible for the administration and management of it as well as other hospitals, health, outreach and extended care centres in the region.
“The area hospital would be used as a long-term health facility, maybe that might change or maybe it would not. It will still be a facility of SWRHA,” Richards said.