The Augustus Long Hospital is an asset belonging to the Ministry of Energy and not the Ministry of Health.
That’s the word from Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, who echoed Energy Minister Franklin Khan’s declaration in the Parliament last week when asked about the hospital, which is owned by Petrotrin. Khan said the hospital would be put up for lease or sale in 2019.
Deyalsingh confirmed, “Minister Franklin Khan answered that question squarely in the Parliament on Friday, because that falls under him, and he said they are going to go out for RFP (request for proposals) for people who want to lease it or buy it. So that is an issue of the Ministry of Energy. That is their asset, not my asset.”
Asked whether the hospital could be considered a viable option for the Health Ministry, Deyalsingh, speaking to reporters after a book launch at Naparima Girls' High School, San Fernando on Sunday, said the ministry had several hospitals which would be opening in the near future, such as the Point Fortin and Arima hospitals.
“We have Point Fortin coming on stream, we have the Arima hospital coming on stream, we have a new Sangre Grande hospital coming on stream. So we have to look at what we can absorb.
"So the Ministry of Energy will go for an RFP and let’s see what happens.”
On the Couva Children’s hospital, he reiterated that this had been transferred to the University of the West Indies, which held a 51 per cent controlling share.
“I have said the Couva hospital has been given to UWI. A board has been set up under the chairmanship of Mr Nigel Romano. UWI has 51 per cent, the government has 49 per cent. They have their second board meeting this week and I am speaking to them before the board meeting to see where their heads are for the Couva facility.”