Over the past two months the Owen King EU Hospital has been buzzing with activity, with the arrival and installation of numerous pieces equipment and furniture for the facility.
Since 2012, Claudio Meirovich has been involved in all tendering and supervision of contracts at the Hospital and reports that all is on target thus far.
“Right now we are working on the last five contracts that we have the five contractors that are providing all the general furniture, clinical furniture including all the beds, delivery beds as well. All the surgical tables, also ENT(ear, nose and throat), Ophthalmology microscopes and all the tools and equipment for the maintenance areas is also coming in this part of the project. The last two contractors that are going to be starting right now are for the physiotherapy equipment, lab and morgue equipment.”
Meirovich stated that all equipment has now been shipped to St. Lucia with over thirty contains havoing already been destuffed at the facility.
Several teams of persons are currently engaged with the installation of equipment and furniture within all areas of the facility.
Meriovich targets the end of September to be completed with most, if not all the installation.
“We expect that some of the contractors will finish their work by the end of August. So we will have only a couple of contractors working in September and that means all the equipment and furniture will be ready to start training the doctors and nurses to start feeling the hospital as their new home.”
From inception the office of the National Authorizing Officer has played a critical role in overseeing procurement, contract management and payments to all contractors under the new national hospital project.
“Without the NAO’s involvement the communication would not begin. And so all the communication happens with and through the NAO. Yes, you may have other authority figures, the Prime Minister being a key person in that negotiation process but given that the Cotonou Agreement identifies the NAO in that role it must happen in his or her presence whoever sits in the chair at that time.”
The NAO was borne out of the Cotonou Agreement which binds the EU with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and functions as the liaison between the various ACP Governments and the EU Commission. Its pivotal role is in managing the developmental assistance provided by the EU.
The Technical Assistance Supervisor for the OKEU Hospital said St. Lucians will be very pleased with the state of the art facility which will soon be delivered to them.
“I tell this to everybody not only to St. Lucians. I think you are going to have a first class hospital on the island. Nothing is going to be missing and you are going to have the best technology to take care the health of the population, which is one of our objectives and I think the people of St. Lucia can be proud of.”
Training on the newly installed Operating Room Tables commenced this August and continued training on ENT, Ophthalmology and sterilization equipment is scheduled for the end of September.