NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Killarney MP Dr Hubert Minnis questioned whether the government was moving forward with plans to build a new hospital for New Providence on the boundaries of his constituency without public consultation.
Minnis told Eyewitness News his constituents were agitated over the potential development of a public hospital in the Highland Park area and further expressed concern that no details have emerged on how the Davis-led administration would foot the bill.
He said costs for a new hospital were around $600 million when he was Minister of Health in 2009, adding that the sum was surely more than $1 billion now.
“Are we courting a foreign government or does the government have the intention of introducing another tax on the Bahamian people?” Minnis asked.
“Is this a part of their pattern of secretive behavior, the public wants to know.”
Health minister Dr Michael Darville told reporters in October 2022 that a site had been chosen and would be revealed in two months – at the latest.
He said the site is about 50 to 55 acres and on high ground, “which means that we don’t have to worry too much about the elements of climate change”.
At the time, Darville said officials had considered five sites.
“We were looking at JFK there is some land that is vested with the government, its crown land. You know we were supposed to have a dual carriageway on Gladstone Road, there is a parcel of land there that we thought could be appropriate. There is a plot of land that we are looking at on the Perpall tract area that was vested in the utilities department and we have one or two other pieces that have already been ruled out,” Darville said in October.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Minnis said his constituents have been calling and complaining.
“They understand the new hospital is bordering the Killarney constituency in the Highland Park area, and the government has not called a town meeting to consult us.
“Those in Highland Park are especially concerned about persons moving in and out 24 hours,” he said.