World Bank project leaders together with Hospital Tripartite members

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Minister of Public Health, Emil Lee reported on the progress of the St. Maarten Hospital Resilience and Preparedness Project during Wednesday’s press Council of Minister’s press briefing. World Bank representatives are currently working on the Project Appraisal Document (PAD), which is mandatory for the funding grant of twenty five million dollars for the project. The project includes the funds for strengthening of the new hospital building design to meet post-Irma specifications, to ensure continuity of care during the worst of disasters and the transition of the current building and staff from now through commissioning of the new building.

The World Bank project leaders, Carolyn Shelton (Sr Operations Officer and Task Team Leader for this project) and Marcelo Bortman (Lead Health Specialist and Task Team Leader for this project) are in charge of drafting the PAD. The Tripartite commission for the new General Hospital consisting of SZV, Government and the SMMC recently gave the World Bank project leaders a presentation of the new hospital plans and a tour of the current facility. The PAD is expected to be completed by the end of June.

I certainly think they see the need for a new hospital and the resilience plan for the current hospital. We are happy that they are here to get a first-hand impression and to work on the document.” – Emil Lee, Minister of Public Health

The requested funding of twenty five million dollars will allow for the reinstatement of the additional wing to the new General Hospital plans, reinforce the current SMMC facility to meet category four hurricane wind speeds and other upgrades to the facility. The construction of the new hospital is delayed due to the post-Irma status of the country. Because of this, all parties are ensuring that the necessary upgrades to the SMMC will be possible, to ensure that the SMMC can continue to service the community with proper quality and patient safety measures in place, during the extended period of time. The engineers are currently working on the redesign of the building itself and it is projected to be able to submit the new designs to the Ministry of VROMI by the end of July.

“We see that the World Bank shares our philosophy of incorporating quality standards and making sure that we are working towards international standards. This is an important part of building back better. It is an important part of resilience. If we want the project to be sustainable, it needs to be economically sustainable, in order for that to happen. The hospital has to be built with international quality standards both physically as well as the services that we provide.” – Emil Lee, Minister of Public Health