19 Mar 2009

New US funded hospital for Marshall Islands

3:16 pm on 19 March 2009

The United States government will fund a new hospital for the capital of the Marshall Islands with a price tag that could go as high as 30 million US dollars.

The Health Secretary, Justina Langidrik, says the final architectural designs are being prepared for the project to be publicly bid for in July, with a groundbreaking to launch construction tentatively

set for November.

The existing 24-year-old hospital in Majuro, also funded by the U.S., will be demolished as part of construction of the new facility.

After objections over the estimated 40 million dollar cost of earlier proposed hospital designs, the U.S. Interior Department and the Ministry of Health have agreed on a reduced budget for a 120 bed hospital.

Mr Langidrik says the new hospital will increase the number of beds from the present 90 to 120, provide an isolation ward for infectious diseases, establish new facilities for medical programmes for nuclear test-affected islanders and build a new location for a Diabetes Centre.