A veteran architect believes that the present Queen Elizabeth Hospital once maintained is adequate for the needs of Barbados and there is no need for Government to build another state-owned hospital.
According to Andy Voss the idea to build a new facility in Kingsland, Christ Church is not beneficial to the country.
Speaking to the media at a ribbon cutting and opening of the Soroptimist Village’s laundry facility in Eden Lodge, St Michael on Thursday the architect and senior partner of Tomlin Voss Associates said, “What are we doing spending our money to build a new hospital up there? Upgrade what you’ve got and knock down some of the buildings around it so you can get a bit more sensible parking,” Voss said.
The architect who has been working in Barbados for the past 60 years questioned why Government is so quick to move buildings from Bridgetown and its environs which has UNESCO heritage site status.
“Why are we moving away from Bridgetown, just because it is fashionable? This is architecture. Architecture has changed with the fashion and if you think of it, buildings like that were fairly stark and then you went into a ‘pretty’ type of architecture with the cottage and gingerbread architecture,” he said, adding that the QEH needs to be given the tools to make it cutting edge in 21st century Barbados.
“What matters is whether QEH serves its function properly. If it needs more money, more maintenance, more staff, more security that is the sort of thing and that needs to be backed with the procedure and equipment as it changes. But it has not done badly,” Voss said. He noted that he has heard the cries about knocking down the QEH but he believed that the structure built by the late Captain Tomlin has been properly maintained.
“I would go against that. The hospital is in a good position generally especially now that it is easy to get to Bridgetown and you should leave it there because 60 per cent of it is in good order and up-to-date. The QEH is one area that has been maintained. Look at all the other government buildings, the old NIS building, the new law courts, the maintenance has not been kept up.”
In 2012 former Minister of Health Donville Inniss announced that a general hospital would be constructed in Kingsland Christ Church to replace the QEH.