Hospital relocation in doubt.

The National Referral Hospital.

Cuts to the development budget of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has cast clouds of doubt over the relocation of the National Referral Hospital to the proposed new site at Gilbert Camp in East Honiara.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr. Tenneth Dalipada said his ministry was uncertain on how they would manage the situation.

He adds, the Ministry will be looking else where for assistance.

Dr. Dalipada said they had already talked with the Ministry of Finance and drafted a letter of request to development partners to assist them get the business case to the government.

He said the Geotech Analysis study in the new site, which was supposed to be completed last year is still pending.

“This is not actually for the construction of the building, but it is for support to the technical team in terms of the viability of moving, and what might be the cost,”he said.

“With no budget I think we will be finding it difficult to move forward unless we get some funding.”

Dr. Dalipada also added, plans to fence the new site is still incomplete due to budgetary cuts.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services Development Budget this year has been reduced by 33 Million dollars from last year’s budget.

Dr. Dalipada added, donor funding is also declining. Last year, it was 6.7 Million, this year 4.5 Million.

He said, the gap will have to be picked up by the Government by 2020 onwards when current donors are expected to leave.

By: Lowen Sei.

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