IT will take up to ten years before actual construction work on the new National Referral Hospital (NRH) at Gilbert Camp in East Honiara will begin.
This was revealed by the Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana on Wednesday when he updated Parliament on the new National Referral Hospital Construction Project.
“It will take up to 10 years before the actual work begins because there a lot of work involving in the process of the construction of the work.
“Some of the works are developing concept plan, master plan, fencing, land issue and clearance of unexploded bomb.
“The site at Gilbert Camp for the relocation of the hospital is still in the concept planning stage,” Dr Togamana said.
Dr Togamana said a taskforce was appointed last year and it comprises important stakeholders have been selected to work together on this important project.
“One important task is to involve important consultant groups for the designing of the master plan for the new hospital.
“This is important because the existing NRH only caters for a population of about 300,000. But our national population has exceeded 600,000.
“We need to properly plan so that the new hospital can cater for our growing population,” the Health and Medical Services Minister said.
Dr Togamana said site studies have been conducted on the location and are being reviewed by his ministry and other key stakeholders of the national government.
“The squatters are already there so we need to secure the site and deal with people who are already in the perimeter of the land. That is another issue,” he said.
Dr Togamana said for the fencing construction to continue, an UXO ordinance clearance needs to be carried out to clear the site of unexploded World War II bombs.
“The tender for the fencing and clearance of the unexploded ordinances is already with the Ministry of Finance and Treasury,” Dr Togamana said.
He said a temporary 1,000 metre fencing was put for safety reasons. Dr Togamana also revealed that the tender for the construction of a security house at the location has already been awarded.
The site will be manned by security officers to avoid the entry of squatters.
By LACHLAN EDDIE