Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says Trinidad's "three legacy hospitals" – Port of Spain General Hospital, San Fernando General Hospital and the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex – are top of his budget wish list.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert is expected to present the 2018-2019 budget in Parliament in the coming weeks – most likely early October given that the 2017-2018 budget was presented on October 2 last year.
"My wish list is to continue doing the good work we have been doing, especially under the PSIP - Public Sector Investment Programme – we have gone to the Minister of Planning and Development (Camille Robinson-Regis) with our wish list for projects.
"Specifically, to continue the rehabilitation of our existing three legacy hospitals (because) a lot of it was left to decay over the years. We have started a programme of rehabilitation, especially upgrading electrical systems, roofing, plumbing and sewer systems, because you can't deliver health care in a facility where these supporting systems aren't working. They were left to rot for many years and we are correcting that now."
Newsday asked Deyalsingh about his budget wish list yesterday on the sidelines of a function celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the enrollment of nurses in the first edition of the Basic Comprehensive Nursing Programme (BCNP1), at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
The 2017-2018 budget was set on an oil price of US$52 per barrel and a gas price of US$2.75 per mmbtu.Total revenue was $45.7 billion while total expenditure was $50.5 billion.
The Tobago House of Assembly received $2.19 billion while major ministry allocations were as follows: Education $7.29 billion; National Security $6.23 billion; Health $6.02 billion; Public Utilities $3.54 billion; Works and Transport $3.09 billion; Rural Development and Local Government $1.84 billion; Housing $1 billion and Agriculture $0.545 billion.