New NRH building work given greenlight by disputing parties


DISPUTING parties of the proposed new National Referral Hospital at Gilbert camp, East Honiara have agreed for work to progress.

This is despite the dispute over the land being before the court.

Attorney General, John Muria Junior confirmed this to media last Friday.

Muria Junior said the land is in the name of the Commissioner of Lands after the government paid certain landowners following negotiations.

He said then some disputing parties came in and introduced a caveat and an ensuing court case.

“Since then, number parties also joined in the civil proceedings.

“But one thing is common among everyone is everyone agree for progress to go ahead and hospital to be built,” he said.

Attorney General said it just they don’t want payment to go to certain people only.

“In terms of ground working and all that, everyone agreed for hospital to progress,” he added.

Furthermore, Secretary to Prime Minister, Jimmie Rodgers said construction of the new NRH in two phases namely Planning and design phase and actual construction.

He said the total cost sits around $1 billion, that is the cost of Pacific Games project.

Rodgers said it is not going to be a small entity but Ministry of Health and Medical Services is liaising with Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

Moreover, Minister of Health and Medical Services, Dr Culwick Togamana told Parliament last September that it will take up to 10 years before the actual work begins because there a lot of work involving in the process of the construction of the work.

“Some of the works are developing concept plan, master plan, fencing, land issue and clearance of unexploded bomb.

“The site at Gilbert Camp for the relocation of the hospital is still in the concept planning stage,” Dr Togamana said.

Dr Togamana said a taskforce was appointed in 2021 and it comprises important stakeholders have been selected to work together on this important project.

“One important task is to involve important consultant groups for the designing of the master plan for the new hospital.

“This is important because the existing NRH only caters for a population of about 300,000. But our national population has exceeded 600,000.

“We need to properly plan so that the new hospital can cater for our growing population,” the Health and Medical Services Minister said.

Dr Togamana said site studies have been conducted on the location and are being reviewed by his ministry and other key stakeholders of the national government.

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