The Government will build a new hospital in Port-of-Spain.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made the announcement at the sod-turning ceremony for the Roxborough Hospital on Wednesday
“We have just signed off on a multi-story building for 500 beds because the existing multi-storey hospital with 400 beds has been condemned as engineeringly unsound since 2009,” Rowley said.
He said there are five healthcare facilities under construction.
“The Couva Hospital will be opened in this month of July, we will begin to see them offer services then and in September, teaching will begin,” he said.
He also gave an update on the Point Fortin and Arima projects.
“The Point Fortin Hospital is on the verge of completion and is being outfitted and very soon the people of Point Fortin will have a hospital. Pretty soon after that, the hospital at Arima will be completed as well.”
He said another sod-turning ceremony will soon take place for the Sangre Grande hospital.
Though the new Roxborough Hospital is projected to be smaller, it will be a fully functional medical facility, Dr Rowley said.
The estimated cost of the Roxborough project is $60 million and it is expected to be completed in two years.
Meanwhile, addressing Government’s plans to finance major projects, Rowley said the Revenue Authority will improve collection methods resulting in increased revenue.
“A Revenue Authority which is structured and facilitated and populated with the skills and authority to go there and improve on a tax collection so that we don’t see 40 per cent of what is owed to the exchequer outside,” he said.
“The experts tell us that 40 per cent of tax is not being collected...in some instances ... the Board of Inland Revenue has facilitated the loss of revenue,” the PM added.
Referring to non-collection of the Property Tax since 2010, the PM said revenues totalling more than “four hundred million dollars” have been lost since then.
“We cannot have it both ways we cannot expect to have service delivery and at the same time have people liable for taxes and not paying taxes,” the PM said.
He said the Government will go ahead with its development projects and expects more taxes to be collected to finance them.
- by Loyse Vincent