China is providing a US$36.1 million loan to Jamaica for the construction of the Western Children’s Hospital in the northwestern parish of St. James. China is also to undertake other projects to be agreed on by both countries.
The 220-bed facility, which will be the first in Jamaica and will be built on the compound of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, with work expected to commence by the end of the current fiscal year, in March 2019.
Funded under bi-country agreement
Funding is being provided under an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, which was signed earlier this week by Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith and China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi.
Johnson Smith said the agreement and, by extension, construction of the hospital represent “another positive development and demonstration of the effective and strong cooperation between our countries.”
She noted that the new facility will better enable Jamaica to reach its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “which we are seeking to attain in every aspect, including health. “We are [also] pleased that the hospital will not only create jobs in the construction phase, but in its development and implementation… will have need for more nurses, doctors, anesthetists, caretakers, and more service providers generally. So, we see this hospital as not only [pivotal in] attaining our health SDG, but certainly moving Jamaica towards prosperity,” the Minister added.