PM: New hospital in PoS to be built

The Gov­ern­ment will build a new hos­pi­tal in Port-of-Spain.

 

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley made the an­nounce­ment at the sod-turn­ing cer­e­mo­ny for the Rox­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal on Wednes­day

“We have just signed off on a mul­ti-sto­ry build­ing for 500 beds be­cause the ex­ist­ing mul­ti-storey hos­pi­tal with 400 beds has been con­demned as en­gi­neer­ing­ly un­sound since 2009,” Row­ley said.

He said there are five health­care fa­cil­i­ties un­der con­struc­tion.

“The Cou­va Hos­pi­tal will be opened in this month of Ju­ly, we will be­gin to see them of­fer ser­vices then and in Sep­tem­ber, teach­ing will be­gin,” he said.

He al­so gave an up­date on the Point Fortin and Ari­ma projects.

“The Point Fortin Hos­pi­tal is on the verge of com­ple­tion and is be­ing out­fit­ted and very soon the peo­ple of Point Fortin will have a hos­pi­tal. Pret­ty soon af­ter that, the hos­pi­tal at Ari­ma will be com­plet­ed as well.”

He said an­oth­er sod-turn­ing cer­e­mo­ny will soon take place for the San­gre Grande hos­pi­tal.

Though the new Rox­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal is pro­ject­ed to be small­er, it will be a ful­ly func­tion­al med­ical fa­cil­i­ty, Dr Row­ley said.

The es­ti­mat­ed cost of the Rox­bor­ough project is $60 mil­lion and it is ex­pect­ed to be com­plet­ed in two years.

Mean­while, ad­dress­ing Gov­ern­ment’s plans to fi­nance ma­jor projects, Row­ley said the Rev­enue Au­thor­i­ty will im­prove col­lec­tion meth­ods re­sult­ing in in­creased rev­enue.

“A Rev­enue Au­thor­i­ty which is struc­tured and fa­cil­i­tat­ed and pop­u­lat­ed with the skills and au­thor­i­ty to go there and im­prove on a tax col­lec­tion so that we don’t see 40 per cent of what is owed to the ex­che­quer out­side,” he said.

“The ex­perts tell us that 40 per cent of tax is not be­ing col­lect­ed...in some in­stances ... the Board of In­land Rev­enue has fa­cil­i­tat­ed the loss of rev­enue,” the PM added.

Re­fer­ring to non-col­lec­tion of the Prop­er­ty Tax since 2010, the PM said rev­enues to­talling more than “four hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars” have been lost since then.

“We can­not have it both ways we can­not ex­pect to have ser­vice de­liv­ery and at the same time have peo­ple li­able for tax­es and not pay­ing tax­es,” the PM said.

He said the Gov­ern­ment will go ahead with its de­vel­op­ment projects and ex­pects more tax­es to be col­lect­ed to fi­nance them.

- by Loyse Vincent

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