Dominica is steadily moving closer to having a fully functional state of the art modern hospital as construction work on the 40 million US dollar Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) continues.
The DCFH is being fully funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and is being built in seven phases.
Construction work began in August of 2016 with total completion date carded for 2022.
Phase one and phase three of the hospital has already been completed and are functional.
Phase one consisted of the construction of the emergency building which includes an Accident and Emergency Department and the Hospital Administrative and Management Offices.
“The Medical Technology Building 1 is complete and it includes the radiology department on the ground floor, the medical laboratory on the 1st floor and the dialysis unit and the ambulatory care unit on the top floor. So this phase one is completed and is in full use now,” stated Minister of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre.
He then explained that phase two of the hospital, which consists of the exper-dormitory building is also complete. This includes the ophthalmology unit inclusive of an operating theatre on the ground floor as well as the staff accommodation which has fourteen double occupancy rooms and two suites on the upper floors, which is also complete.
Phase three which was handed over to the Government in January consist of the out-patient building located outside the emergency department.
“We are temporarily using it to house the Imray, Alford, and Dawbiney wards as the construction of phase four and phase five continues. The Medical Technology Building 2 is also complete. That includes the Blood Bank, the Intensive Care Unit and also the operating theaters. We have four operating theatres in this phase three that I mentioned, but the hospital on a whole operates with seven theatres. We have an eight bed ICU two of these are complete isolation unit,” The health Minister explained.
He added that “the old Intensive Care Unit and the operating theatre buildings were demolished and cleared away and construction of the in-patient building is in process now. We have two in-patient buildings. Both of these will be four stories each and this will house our medical male and female wards.”
Building number 2 is 40 percent complete and up to the 4th floor level of which the structure is 80 percent complete and conduit installation is 70 percent complete. Building number 1 is 10 percent complete and construction is at the foundation level. Upon completion these buildings will house the male and female medical and surgical wards.
Phase six of the new hospital is a three floor administrative teaching building which is 80 percent completed, and once completed the amphitheater with approximately 200 seating capacity will be constructed as well.
Phase seven, which is the renovation of the Francisca Dorival complex has commenced. So far, roofing works and the painting and other minor construction works are ongoing.
“When completed the medical mainstream within the hospital runs from the north-west to south-east and will connect all the wards and all the departments and all the floors. These areas will be accessible from four elevators, three sets of stairs and a ramp. Two of these elevators have already been installed and two others will be installed next to the in-patient wards. Two of the stairs have already been constructed,” Dr. McIntyre stated.
The Health Minister added that the landscaping of the hospital will be done by a local contractor and plans for these works are being drawn up. Repairs to some of the existing buildings on the same site and construction of the internal roads will signal the completion of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital.