Gov’t to try new system to shorten Islands Hospital delays

The government is looking at implementing a new project development system wherein the responsibilities are divided among different public departments for the construction of the delayed Islands District Medical Complex.
According to the Legislative Assembly Follow-up Committee on Public Works, the delays were attributed to the project development system that was used.
Formerly, the government used a system indicating that the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) and the Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) held responsibility for the planning, approval, and development of the projects. However, the Health Bureau (SSM) has more authority over hospital planning.
The committee head and legislator Ella Lei said that the government considered the current system not to be the ideal solution.
The SSM has reportedly spent some 300 million patacas for planning and consultancy services during the planning stage.
Both the DSSOPT and the GDI then made revisions that had to go through 10 public departments leading to more delays.
With the new system, the responsibility of the projects has been divided.
For example, the SSM is involved in planning and has the power to approve the projects, while the DSSOPT only takes responsibility for the construction.
However, according to Lei, there may still be loopholes in the system, adding that the DSSOPT should be responsible for the majority of the project.
This system was reportedly used for the development of the central library at the Old Court building.
“The interested department might know about their area and needs but this will involve many alterations in the project, with problems maybe only discovered during construction and will impact the deadline. Before it was the DSSOPT and the GDI in charge of all works and it should return to this,” said Lei.
Chief Executive Chui Sai On said in his 2017 Policy Address that he hoped the hospital will be concluded before his term ends on December 20, 2019. LV

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