Major hospital construction at standstill, says Health Minister

The construction of the new A building of Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (PSKUS) is at a standstill, said Health Minister Hosams Abu Meri, who has requested full information on the planning of the significant project by the end of the week, the Ministry of Health (VM) said on October 2.

Significant national and European Union (EU) financial resources are involved in the construction project. Failure to meet deadlines risks losing the opportunity to target EU co-financing and invest in health infrastructure development, the minister explained.

“As early as spring, the challenges of completing the second round construction of PSKUS Building A were raised in government, and today, when I look at the situation, I am unpleasantly surprised that we have actually been walking in place for the last few months. Thus, jeopardizing not only medical treatment processes and doctors' opportunities to work in an environment appropriate to modern medicine but also available funding for the development of health infrastructure,” the minister said.

VM noted that when he took office, Abu Meri set the goal of ensuring affordable, high-quality, and effective healthcare in Latvia. Already, an agreement has been reached with coalition partners on additional funding in the health sector. At the same time, according to the Minister, the organization of internal processes, including in significant construction projects, is vital for the effective use of national and EU funds.

“In order to promote an effective health system, I undertake to develop extensive cooperation with industry representatives and partners, also actively strengthening the involvement of the public and influence parties in solving the development issues of the sector, including the implementation of extensive construction projects,” the Minister noted.

The new section of the Stradins Hospital building is expected to house an emergency medical center, admissions rooms, operating theatres, surgical and neurosurgery profiles, a neurology unit and stroke unit, facial and jaw surgery, intensive care facilities, as well as a woman and child clinic along with the delivery unit.

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