Government has secured a $950 million loan from the Chinese government to construct a children's hospital in Central Trinidad.
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Yang Youming, Chinese Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, yesterday signed the framework agreement for this loan at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tower C of the International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.
Moonilal noted that this year there was an intensification of diplomatic relations and economic and technical cooperation between the governments of China and Trinidad and Tobago.
"I cannot imagine a better way to conclude a year of friendly engagement and mutually beneficial cooperation than the signing of this framework agreement on the provision of a concessional loan for the construction of the children's hospital in Central Trinidad," he said.
"This priority health care facility will be outfitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment for diagnosis and treatment of the nation's most precious resource indeed, our children," he added.
In addition to the national clientele, Moonilal said, the facility, which will be constructed in Couva, is projected to attract patients from the wider Caribbean and the Latin American region.
"The children's hospital constitutes an integral part of the Government's hospital physical infrastructure development strategy which is aimed at improving the accessibility and availability of health care services throughout Trinidad and Tobago."
Government, said Moonilal, also proposes to undertake the construction of new hospitals in Point Fortin, deeper South Trinidad, in addition to development works in the Port of Spain, Sangre Grande and San Fernando hospitals.
Moonilal expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Chinese government for its support to the development of this country.
Yang said the loan "...certainly constitutes another gesture of goodwill from the government and people of the People's Republic of China to people and the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago".
"As you all know, our two countries have always enjoyed long-standing good relations and I do hope that this Government loan will help to improve the health system...benefiting the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the children in particular," said Yang.