by Shawn Cumberbatch
Even before the first brick on its construction site is laid, waiting time is turning out to be a factor for the $200 million medical facility which will replace the St. Joseph Hospital.
About 30 doctors, most of them from the United States, have signed on to provide patient care at the new American World Clinics hospital to be built in St. Peter, but it’s developers are awaiting Government’s permission to get started.
When news of the AWC venture was announced in July 2011, it was originally expected to be completed and operational around June or July this year, but it is now unlikely to be opened to patients before 2015.
AWC President Robert Priddy, fresh from announcing plans last week for establishment of a similar project in the Bahamas, told Barbados TODAY his organisation was keen to start “as soon as possible”, but needed the Freundel Stuart Administration to approve some plans, including the “financial structure” for the AWC Barbados undertaking.
“With hopes of Barbados representing the AWC flagship location, the AWC team, HDR Architecture, DCK World Wide general contractors and National Standard Finance, are all ready to move forward on the Barbados project, and anticipate the ability to break ground within 90 days of receiving approval from the Government of Barbados,” the American hospital administrator said.
“The financial structure and organisation of the AWC project requires Cabinet approval first, followed by a parliamentary vote… at least that is our expectation. Our desire is to get underway as soon as possible.”
AWC officials have been bringing a number of medical practitioners from overseas here over the past couple years to get them interested in signing on to provide their services at the new hospital, which will be targeting mainly foreign patients as part of a major medical tourism drive for the island. New information showed that about 30 doctors were now on board “a growing list of physicians” being utilised by AWC.
Those who have already signed up have practices in various areas, several of them related to surgery. These included obstetrics, gynecology, emergency medicine, plastic surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, general surgery, oculoplastic surgery, radiology, cardiology, and family medicine.
The doctors are currently based mainly in the US from Texas, New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., Indiana, Virginia, and Arizona, as well as Denmark and Canada.
The developers of the new medical facility on the 21.5 acre site St. Peter site which has been leased from Government, said the project’s “centerpiece” a surgical specialty hospital with 12 operating rooms to serve both international medical travelers and local patients in the Caribbean region.
It will have 60 inpatient beds, Intensive Care Unit capabilities, an interventional lab, and state of the art facilities for diagnostics and therapeutics. They also said that multidisciplinary clinic space, including dental and concierge medicine, will be located adjacent to the hospital. email@example.com