Where is the new Hospital?

Where is the new Hospital?

It has long time gone that the Government of Montserrat should present to the people the real situation of what the general state of affairs was that existed in September 2014, and now, in particular, to get current, the circumstances that brought the ‘Hospital’ project to the obvious sad state it is in.

The hospital project began as far back in 2008 to the point where in 2009, first on the agenda of the first MCAP government was the hospital. following the call for elections in 2009 by the Lowel Lewis government, of which members of MCAP were predominant. At that point, Executive Council (pre Constitution) did not want to bother to listen to details of the project as it was already a done deal.

Then in 2012 the Montserrat Hospital and Health Care Improvement Project got a start date (taken from a DFID document): 01-Nov-12  End Date: 30-Nov-16 with a Programme Value of £8.42 million with the EC$ around that being 4.00 plus. That is why at the time this sum was stated at about $33 million.

There was to be a Review Date of 10th – 14th November, 2014. Things seemed to have been progressing well up to January, 2014, but by March with things going well; design etc. and contract awarded; detailed design expected by July, construction was expected to start early 2015.

The inserts here are taken from a DFID document on the project following general elections in September 2014. The PDM government took over and following the review, “…the decision was taken to bring this poorly performing project to an early conclusion.”

Then:

(see: A new Hospital to break ground in six – nine months- Posted on 25 September 2015. (Minister – “But there was no approved project in August last year”)

Here it is now that three plus years later and the people are being asked to consider a report that had been anticipated. The people, or more accurately those who felt moved to comment on what was being presented, probably without the knowledge of the history of this project, express nothing but rejection.

Dr. Lewis was a panelist on a radio program soliciting public input on the functional review and health financing study, and having heard much of the comments that appear below, had this to say. “Not only does it cause a lot of problems for the patients and the families but it un-trains our people, it means we will end up with nurses and doctors who have no experience to guarantee a certain level of services and it will be devastating for young Montserratians at school aspiring to become obstetricians and gynecologists and pediatricians to think that they will never be able to work in their homeland and look after their people. But there are certain situations in which people will have to go overseas, we know that we do not have critical care services former intensive care unit, we can in fact and should try and at least have an interim arrangement until we can do that permanently.”

The functional review and health financing study created by consultants Mott McDonald presents the Government of Montserrat with five options for hospital services and two options for health financing. Prior to Dr. Lewis’ panel statement the process was described as ‘highly controversial’ even though it all pointed into one direction – rejection. Many persons believe that the options presented are not acceptable and are not in the best interest of Montserrat.

One candidate at the last general elections expressed that the report should have been rejected by the health minister immediately and not brought to the public for comment.

“It is so disrespectful that I think it should have been stopped right in the offices of the Ministry of Health. It is inconceivable that such a report would have ever been formulated, why, who is going to bring a report to a country that is going to say that your health needs can be externally provided for because that in itself what this report is saying that Montserrat is not capable of taking care of its citizens so we will get our next door neighbor to deal with it for you, who does that?” she said.

One news report said that the Mcdonald report was rubbished with the general sentiment heard from almost everyone who commented otherwise, that we can subscribe to, that the recommendations if accepted would return Montserrat to a less developed state (that existed pre the 1960s).

Another politician, former parliamentarian said: “This thing here sounds like a joke to me, I don’t know if we could be serious, we’re retrogressing now. We’re asking to have only adult surgery on Montserrat; this for me is ridiculous and there will be a cost to the persons taken off island for those who would be sent away. I myself way back in the forties you know this type of surgery was offered in Montserrat for bringing forth children; and now we’re saying that it must not be done in Montserrat? We cannot accept that, period.”

A social activist said: “When you send people overseas and they have to say there for a week or two, what support they have, as a matter of fact a caller before said that this should not be even on the radio and I agree with the caller. I mean I feel some people are getting worked up but I feel sad and I think that we need to sing nearer my God today because we are dying we’re not going anyplace.”

Another female caller continued: “Where in the region are they offering this type of substantive health care or accommodation to any of the other British Overseas Territory? Which other island are they offering this to? Because, I have never heard this before where you go from bad to worse. This is really a bad situation, all over the world everyone wants to improve health care, want to improve accommodation, want to improve everything that they took away. So which other island is this happening on? I think the people need to know that.”

The Health Minister Delmaude Ryan said it would have been irresponsible of her Government not to present the report to the public before it makes a final decision revealing that the Ministry had until January 30th to give its final response to DFID.

The Minister said: “Now it will require the unity of all of us to unite on this and one of the callers mentioned even placarding and protesting in relation to this whether at 10 Downing street or even right here for the world to understand how unfairly we have been treated here in Montserrat. I so want us to continue with that unity as we continue in voicing our rejection to the recommendations but as we put forward what was presented before and for us, nothing less than the thirty beds that we would already have in place, that is what we’re working forward with and we have the documentation to justify why. Many of you have contributed some very valid points which have been taken into consideration and we will continue to engage with you as we progress and let you know what the outcome of this review will be.

Former parliamentarian Chedmond Browne in the NPLM government, and social commentator has opined that the origins of the controversial functional review and health financing study produced by consultancy firm Mott McDonald is not a new document. While asking for a sensible health care package for Montserrat he called for a total rejection of the Mott McDonald report in its current form.

He said, “A large portion of that report was already given to the Government of Montserrat in 1998, so what we looking at is a repetition a continuous repetition of reports that basically say the same thing… people who are involved would recognize by now that when they go into a meeting to discuss a report will say ‘wait a minute I’ve heard this before’…”

There is still to be substantiated, the report that leading up to September 2014, the Hospital Project was changed where the project value had almost doubled and that was the real cause for the project to be abandoned.

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It has long time gone that the Government of Montserrat should present to the people the real situation of what the general state of affairs was that existed in September 2014, and now, in particular, to get current, the circumstances that brought the ‘Hospital’ project to the obvious sad state it is in.

The hospital project began as far back in 2008 to the point where in 2009, first on the agenda of the first MCAP government was the hospital. following the call for elections in 2009 by the Lowel Lewis government, of which members of MCAP were predominant. At that point, Executive Council (pre Constitution) did not want to bother to listen to details of the project as it was already a done deal.

Then in 2012 the Montserrat Hospital and Health Care Improvement Project got a start date (taken from a DFID document): 01-Nov-12  End Date: 30-Nov-16 with a Programme Value of £8.42 million with the EC$ around that being 4.00 plus. That is why at the time this sum was stated at about $33 million.

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There was to be a Review Date of 10th – 14th November, 2014. Things seemed to have been progressing well up to January, 2014, but by March with things going well; design etc. and contract awarded; detailed design expected by July, construction was expected to start early 2015.

The inserts here are taken from a DFID document on the project following general elections in September 2014. The PDM government took over and following the review, “…the decision was taken to bring this poorly performing project to an early conclusion.”

Then:

(see: A new Hospital to break ground in six – nine months- Posted on 25 September 2015. (Minister – “But there was no approved project in August last year”)

Here it is now that three plus years later and the people are being asked to consider a report that had been anticipated. The people, or more accurately those who felt moved to comment on what was being presented, probably without the knowledge of the history of this project, express nothing but rejection.

Dr. Lewis was a panelist on a radio program soliciting public input on the functional review and health financing study, and having heard much of the comments that appear below, had this to say. “Not only does it cause a lot of problems for the patients and the families but it un-trains our people, it means we will end up with nurses and doctors who have no experience to guarantee a certain level of services and it will be devastating for young Montserratians at school aspiring to become obstetricians and gynecologists and pediatricians to think that they will never be able to work in their homeland and look after their people. But there are certain situations in which people will have to go overseas, we know that we do not have critical care services former intensive care unit, we can in fact and should try and at least have an interim arrangement until we can do that permanently.”

The functional review and health financing study created by consultants Mott McDonald presents the Government of Montserrat with five options for hospital services and two options for health financing. Prior to Dr. Lewis’ panel statement the process was described as ‘highly controversial’ even though it all pointed into one direction – rejection. Many persons believe that the options presented are not acceptable and are not in the best interest of Montserrat.

One candidate at the last general elections expressed that the report should have been rejected by the health minister immediately and not brought to the public for comment.

“It is so disrespectful that I think it should have been stopped right in the offices of the Ministry of Health. It is inconceivable that such a report would have ever been formulated, why, who is going to bring a report to a country that is going to say that your health needs can be externally provided for because that in itself what this report is saying that Montserrat is not capable of taking care of its citizens so we will get our next door neighbor to deal with it for you, who does that?” she said.

One news report said that the Mcdonald report was rubbished with the general sentiment heard from almost everyone who commented otherwise, that we can subscribe to, that the recommendations if accepted would return Montserrat to a less developed state (that existed pre the 1960s).

Another politician, former parliamentarian said: “This thing here sounds like a joke to me, I don’t know if we could be serious, we’re retrogressing now. We’re asking to have only adult surgery on Montserrat; this for me is ridiculous and there will be a cost to the persons taken off island for those who would be sent away. I myself way back in the forties you know this type of surgery was offered in Montserrat for bringing forth children; and now we’re saying that it must not be done in Montserrat? We cannot accept that, period.”

A social activist said: “When you send people overseas and they have to say there for a week or two, what support they have, as a matter of fact a caller before said that this should not be even on the radio and I agree with the caller. I mean I feel some people are getting worked up but I feel sad and I think that we need to sing nearer my God today because we are dying we’re not going anyplace.”

Another female caller continued: “Where in the region are they offering this type of substantive health care or accommodation to any of the other British Overseas Territory? Which other island are they offering this to? Because, I have never heard this before where you go from bad to worse. This is really a bad situation, all over the world everyone wants to improve health care, want to improve accommodation, want to improve everything that they took away. So which other island is this happening on? I think the people need to know that.”

The Health Minister Delmaude Ryan said it would have been irresponsible of her Government not to present the report to the public before it makes a final decision revealing that the Ministry had until January 30th to give its final response to DFID.

The Minister said: “Now it will require the unity of all of us to unite on this and one of the callers mentioned even placarding and protesting in relation to this whether at 10 Downing street or even right here for the world to understand how unfairly we have been treated here in Montserrat. I so want us to continue with that unity as we continue in voicing our rejection to the recommendations but as we put forward what was presented before and for us, nothing less than the thirty beds that we would already have in place, that is what we’re working forward with and we have the documentation to justify why. Many of you have contributed some very valid points which have been taken into consideration and we will continue to engage with you as we progress and let you know what the outcome of this review will be.

Former parliamentarian Chedmond Browne in the NPLM government, and social commentator has opined that the origins of the controversial functional review and health financing study produced by consultancy firm Mott McDonald is not a new document. While asking for a sensible health care package for Montserrat he called for a total rejection of the Mott McDonald report in its current form.

He said, “A large portion of that report was already given to the Government of Montserrat in 1998, so what we looking at is a repetition a continuous repetition of reports that basically say the same thing… people who are involved would recognize by now that when they go into a meeting to discuss a report will say ‘wait a minute I’ve heard this before’…”

There is still to be substantiated, the report that leading up to September 2014, the Hospital Project was changed where the project value had almost doubled and that was the real cause for the project to be abandoned.