Construction on the new Accident & Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is on course to be completed by mid-February next year.
Word of this has come from the hospital’s executive chairman, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland.
“We have a project manager and we have a project schedule so at this point we would be about 75 per cent there,” she said during a donation presentation from the Gallery of Art. “Our project managers have indicated that we should be on track to meet that deadline.”
Bynoe-Sutherland said the construction is “well advanced”.
“Work has actually come out of the ground and steel work and block work has started,” she said. “An important element of this is going to be the ordering of the equipment and a lot of this equipment has to come from overseas so that has to be carefully timed to arrive. So, all things being equal and we have no major interruptions to our supply chain because of COVID, then we should be on track.”
The hospital executive pointed out that the original plan had to be redesigned because the entire health facility is “floating on water”.
“The way that the project manager and teams are working, they have actually made provisions for that in how they build and build out of the ground. We know that is what caused the delay. When we started, we recognised where it is situated is so close to the Constitution River, we encountered about 70 or 80 feet of water. So we had to do some redesign and really put some piling,” she explained.
“We looked at whether or not we could have other alternatives from that site. It is going to be built recognising that it is in a zone that is subject to flooding…. In fact, the entire area is considered below ground. We made all preparation for disaster preparedness.”
Bynoe-Sutherland also disclosed that the QEH is about to benefit from $30 million in equipment.
“We will soon be putting out notification to you on all of the equipment that has come in to date. We continue to need equipment.”
Bynoe-Sutherland pointed out that the cardiology, paediatrics and physiotherapy departments were specifically in need.
“We want to equip all our ambulances with emergency equipment that would allow our frontline personnel to be able to respond better. We are also looking for support with our paediatric programme. We have a significant and substantive donation and part of this is a requirement to build out additional facilities for children.
“Our physiotherapy department services the polyclinics and there are so many referrals. The amount of equipment that is needed by that department is beyond our current ability,” she lamented.