Caribe: Universidad de las Indias Occidentales firmó acuerdo con compañía china para remodelar sus instalaciones
The University of the West Indies and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for a $60 billion development programme, including expansion of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) from a 500 to a 1,000 bed facility.
Addressing the signing ceremony at the UWI Mona Campus, in St. Andrew, on August 26, Principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, said for efficiency, a need now exists for realignment of the hospital’s structure, and also to put the institution in a position to serve the wider region, which remains part of its original mandate.
“We have now arrived at a formula, whereby the University Hospital can be restructured,” the Principal said, while outlining that other Government run hospitals will benefit from improved offerings at the UHWI.
“This will have all the modern facilities. The Government of Jamaica invests a large portion of its budget to the (UHWI); therefore, the University Hospital has to give back to the people of Jamaica. It has to supplement the Government’s hospitals, and provide a higher level of care,” Professor McDonald said.
As part of the expansion project, College Commons, which houses staff of the institution, will be upgraded, and a 100-room hotel will be built to replace the Mona Visitors’ Lodge. A centre for sporting activities, which will comprise a large auditorium to be used for graduation and other events, will also be constructed. It will accommodate between 800 and 1,000 persons.
The expansion will include the completion of a cogeneration plant to supply electricity and to feed the cooling system for the campus.
For his part, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the arrangement between the UWI and CHEC is most courageous, and should lead to the hospital being on par with the most equipped across the globe.
“I am satisfied that the direction (in which) they are going will preserve and protect the most vulnerable within our society, and ensure that health care is not out of the reach of ordinary citizens,” the Minister added.