The New Caledonian Congress has endorsed a 530 million US dollar project to construct a new territorial hospital to replace Noumea's Gaston Bourret hospital.
The Congress has approved the so-called Medipole hospital at Koutio near Noumea, which is to have 100 more beds than the current main hospital. .
The new medical complex has been in the pipeline for the past five years but has encountered significant delays, as well as massive cost overrun.
The current half billion dollar price tag is double what it was estimated to cost in 2004.
Work is now due to start in 2011 with an anticipated commissioning four years later.