Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 26th 2015 Contents A11
Monday, October 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Former health minister Dr Fuad
Khan is threatening to fast on the steps
of the Children s Hospital if the Gov-
ernment does not open it.
"And I will bring people with me,
mothers, children, crying babies. No
government should play politics with
people s health."
Asked about rumours the Government
plans to use the building for other pur-
poses, Khan said, "They can t do that. I
He said the children s ward and radiology
unit had been outfitted and were ready for
"All you have to do is put sick children
He said the Government could start by
opening the radiology unit, which was an out-
patient service and would not need much staff.
Responding to criticisms from the PNM that
the former government had no staff to operate
the Children s Hospital, he said he had it all
worked out when he was health minister.
There are no shortages in the health sector,
contrary to what is believed, he said. "I had showed
where staff would come from in surpluses around
"Of course, we were also planning to bring in
some specialists from Cuba and the Phillipines.
We had planned to put a team in charge to start
the head hunting."
Khan said if the Government did not know
what to do, he was open for consultancy.
As for additional money spent by the last
administration on the hospital, he said the Chinese
government only gave them $1 billion, and in
"We had to find $500 million to start the process
while we were waiting on the money. Imbert
(Finance Minister, Colm Imbert) was wrong when
he said the Chinese government funded the whole
CONTINUES FROM PAGE A10
Imbert said then that the Govern-
ment plans to probe $239 million
spent by the former People s Part-
nership government on the hospi-
tal.The Finance Minister said it was
his understanding the project was
financed through a government to
government loan facility with the Chinese
government and, usually, there was no obli-
gation for the T&T government to spend money
on the construction of the hospital.
The embassy stated that "under the request
of the Government of T&T, the Couva Chil-
dren s Hospital, as a project for people s health
and well being, was built by Shanghai Con-
struction Group in cooperation with the gov-
"It s aim was to improve people s well being
and solve the difficulty of medical services for
"For this project, the Chinese government
provided concessional loans, in the amount of
one billion yuan (about TT$1 billion).
"According to the agreement between the
two countries concerning the provision of the
concessional loans, the import duties and VAT
et cetera, were not to be included in the use
of the loans."
Asked for an elaboration, Yandi Tang of the
embassy s communications department, said
these import duties and taxes were to be paid
by the T&T Government on equipment, mate-
rial and other items for the hospital that were
imported from China and "all over the world.
"That was the agreement," Tang said.
Tang said he could not say at the time how
much the import duties and taxes amounted
to. The embassy said in strict accordance with
the requirements of the contract, Shanghai
Construction Group carried out the construc-
tion of the hospital with good quality and
quantity and on time.
The Chinese government has enhanced coop-
eration with the T&T government on similar
people projects in recent years to promote
friendship and economic and trade exchanges
between the two countries, the embassy said.
The embassy promised to also work with
the People s National Movement Government
and provide financial and other support, if
"In the future, to match the blueprint put
forward in the new budget, China will develop
comprehensive cooperation with the new gov-
ernment on the basis of existing cooperation
and will be willing to provide all kinds of sup-
port, including finance and technology."
Former health minister, Dr Fuad Khan.
inance Minister, Colm Imbert.
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