By Geryl Ogilvy
SERIAN, Jan 24: Twelve years after getting Sri Aman and surrounding folk excited, the proposed Sri Aman Hospital project is now expected to be completed by next year only, after several missed deadlines.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said construction of the RM200 million health facility is currently at 40 per cent progress due to delays since the project started in 2016.
Categorised as a “sick project”, the Sri Aman Hospital was initially scheduled for completion in August this year, but the timeline for scheduled completion has been pushed to 2020 following issues with materials and workers faced by the contractor.
“The Sri Aman Hospital project was announced 12 years ago. It has been a long time coming. At the moment, the project is around 40 per cent completion before it suffered another delay. It was supposed to be completed in August this year but the new timeline is 2020,” Dr Lee told reporters after his working visit to Serian Hospital here today.
Sarawak Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim was also present.
The proposed Sri Aman Hospital, to replace the existing one built in 1954, would benefit some 93,000 residents of Sri Aman, including patients from Lubok Antu, Betong and Simunjan.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when laying the foundation stone for the Sri Aman Hospital project in February 2015, expected it to be completed by October 2018, provided there were no problems with the contractor.
Najib said the federal government was committed to resuming the project considering that at the time, Putrajaya had already spent RM12 million on land acquisition, clearing and filling works.
When visiting the current Sri Aman Hospital in 2011, Najib announced that his administration would continue with the new hospital project that was envisioned to be bigger and equipped with modern facilities, including for surgery, haemodialysis and radiotherapy.
The 108-bed modern hospital was then expected to open its doors to the public in October 2016.
Meanwhile, when asked on the progress of the Lawas and Petra Jaya hospital projects, Dr Lee said construction for both healthcare facilities was expected to commence this year.
The RM200 million Lawas Hospital project is currently in the tender process, he said.
The Petra Jaya Hospital project, worth RM495 million when the Public Works Department (JKR) awarded the contract in 2013, is now at the re-tendering process.
Work on the hospital began in May 23, 2013, and was initially scheduled for completion by Nov 29, 2016.
In July last year, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the federal Cabinet had, in principle, approved the proposal to terminate the main contractor for the Petra Jaya Hospital in Kuching for failing to complete the project on time. — DayakDaily