Government has said it will not entertain any excuses from contractors that would delay the completion for the long-awaited Phalombe District Hospital .
Speaking after touring the hospital, Minister of Health, Khumbidze Kandodo Chiponda advised the contractors to have construction works completed by November this year.
The Minister also toured 75 houses at the site to appreciate progress of the project.
The facility is being jointly constructed by Alghanim and Plem Construction .
The project is jointly funded by Malawi Government, which contributed about $5 million (about K3.6 billion), Arab Bank for African Development (Badea) which put in $7 million (K5.1 billion) and Saudi Fund for Development contributing $12 million (K9.2 billion).
The construction of the hospital started in 2017 and was initially scheduled to be done by 2019 but the contractors failed to beat the deadline due to, among others, contract formalities and delayed funding.
Chiponda, therefore, told the contractors to work against time and ensure that the construction is done by November 2020 as Tonse Alliance government will not take any further excuses and delays.
She, however, conceded that the bottlenecks that delayed the facility were understandable and committed to fully support the project.
“The importance of the facility is of no mention as it will help to save people of Phalombe as we strive to achieve the Essential Health Package.
“Come November dateline I will visit a Phalombe District again to monitor the progress of the construction works,” said Chiponda.
The 250 bed capacity facility has already consumed about 16 million US dollars, according to Ignatius Chitsathi, Project Architect.
“We should be done in the next three months. We are remaining with finishing part, including the fittings and installation of equipment,” said Chitsathi.
Phalombe District Health Office (DHO) reportedly spends over K19 million per month to refer patients to Holy Family Mission Hospital, a Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) hospital, according to acting DHO Stanley Simwaka.
He said once completed, people from Phalombe will have a chance to access medical care closer, thereby saving money spent for referrals to other health facilities.
Phalombe District has a population of over 393 000 people, according to the National Statistical Office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :