Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
CONTRACTS worth nearly $1.8m were signed yesterday for work at Princess Margaret Hospital to correct damage caused by periods of "neglect" of hospital equipment and infrastructure.
One agreement will allow for a complete turnkey service to supply, install and commission two Smart AD065 chill water systems for PMH's Critical Care Block and another covers phase two of roof repairs.
Caribbean International A/C Services Limited was awarded the $1,151,622.08 contract for air conditioning works, while Ringo & Sons Construction and General Maintenance's contract is valued at $632,576.00.
Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday it was a shock to officials to discover serious issues with the Critical Care Block's chilling system as it was a fairly new facility only commissioned in early 2015.
Speaking for the Public Hospitals Authority, Chairman Julian Rolle spoke of the board's unwavering support for phased improvements to the infrastructure and services of the authority, including PMH.
"Beginning in 2017, my ministry along with the board of directors of the PHA committed to charting a sustainable course for the future development and improvement of services across the institutions of the PHA and where appropriate we would commit to the investments necessary to arrest and ameliorate the effects of years of wear and tear, uneven maintenance and, in some instances, periods of neglect on the infrastructure, equipment and physical plants of our public hospitals," Dr Sands said during the signing at PHA's Fourth Terrace corporate office.
He also said on Monday: "Today we will sign a contract for a complete turnkey service for the supply, installation and commissioning of two Smart AD065 chill water systems for the high VAC in the Princess Margaret Hospital's Critical Care Block.
"The $1,151,622.08 contract has been awarded to Caribbean International A/C Services Limited and will take approximately five to six months to complete, inclusive of construction time for the new system.
"This upgrade will alleviate cooling issues experienced in the past in the hospital's Critical Care Block and its surrounding areas, capping an intensive series of remedial initiatives undertaken by PMH to repair and restore our air conditioning system.
"The second contract we will sign provides for the completion of phase two roof repairs at the Princess Margaret Hospital. This contract, which is valued at $632,576, is awarded to Ringo & Sons Construction and General Maintenance. Phase one roof repairs were undertaken in 2018 and you may recall, Ringo & Sons successfully completed the phase one works to the satisfaction of all concerned.
"Phase two will include the removal of the existing metal roofing panels and substrate from some 20,000 sq ft of the hospital roof, to be replaced with hurricane zone rated panels and substrate. These works will largely complete major capital works at the Princess Margaret Hospital for 2019; and represent a significant step in the right direction with respect to the sustainable redevelopment of the hospital."
Dr Sands told reporters yesterday all of the work is expected to be external and will not affect day-to-day operations of the hospital. "So chiller one is essentially dead, we're functioning on a replaced chiller and two are kinda struggling to survive. What we are going to do is put in a rental unit next week, which will give us an additional 200 tonnes. That along with chiller four and the replaced chiller should carry us until the brand new chillers are put in place. Then with the appropriate maintenance and security we expect that we can put this problem behind us once and for all," the minister explained.