Your newspaper article on March 2nd on the establishment of a new Childrens' Hospital at Couva at a cost of US$150 Million seems to be very good news to an expectant public given the medical treatment woes that have been extensively covered in the newspapers. The statement that it is being financed by Chinese Government suggests that it will not be an immediate burden on an already stretched treasury which at a cursory review seems to be positive.
Like all other projects of this nature the questions that arise that are not being immediately answered ,at least in the recent news coverage, deal with capital efficiency and sustainability. Certainly we would not want to repeat some of the identified failures of the past and the PP Government should readily and without prompting provide the public with the necessary information to alley the population's fears with respect to these two critical concerns. With regard to capital efficiency the Ministry of Health or the SWHRA should provide the public with information on the alternatives that were considered in sufficient detail to show the capital efficiency advantages (or other considered advantages) of a new Childrens' Hospital versus the alternatives of expanding any of the existing hospitals to provide a 'wing' specifically dedicated to children. It is common knowledge that the operating and ongoing capital costs associated with such medical facilities are usually high and one has to assume that the loan from the Chinese Government will have to be repaid (unless it is really a gift or grant.) To assess the sustainability of this undertaking information should also be provided on the forecasted operating, running capital and loan repayment costs for this new facility and how these future costs are going to be met.
I do hope that we have turned the bend with respect to being transparent to the public in providing sufficient information on such mega projects to demonstrate the value that will actually be delivered to our beloved country.