PHILIPSBURG–Running the risk of losing the US $17 million World Bank investment for the new St. Maarten General Hospital is one of the consequences of putting the new hospital project back on bid, Health Minister Emil Lee told Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday.
Lee was at the time responding to a question from an MP as to why the hospital project had not been placed back on bid.
Lee said the contract was a “design, build and maintain” agreement that began with the signing on September 19, 2016. This is a legal agreement with St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and Italian contractor INSO.
He said putting the project back on bid would probably result in an adjustment of the terms of reference, which could cost about $1 million. It could also result in inflation for a two-year delay, which could cost about $4.8 million. There is also a possibility that St. Maarten would need to pay companies to tender, which was not done before because the country would “not look serious.”
St. Maarten also runs the risk of losing the World Bank investment in the hospital of $17 million.
Royal Haskoning engineers have evaluated the bids and Lee does not believe a lower bid is possible or likely.
“We would have ongoing referral cost for an extra two years. Dialysis would need to be expanded or persons sent overseas. There would be a potential risk of litigation with INSO. … We would lose the consortium of financiers,” Lee said.
In addition, INSO has provided even better guarantees than previously and these would probably not be had from any other source.