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Red tape delays hospital construction in HCM City

Update: June, 09/2015 - 08:49
A model of the Tumour Hospital. — File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Traumatology-Orthopaedics Hospital's move to HCM City's outskirts and the expansion of the Tumour Hospital have been delayed for many years, with construction failing to start in either case after being stuck in procedures.

The Compensation and Ground Clearance Joint Stock Corporation, which will build the Traumatology-Orthopaedics Hospital in Binh Chanh District, has stopped paying compensation to locals for land.

"We only have money for compensation and ground clearance but not for construction," Pham Ngoc Lam, the chairman of the corporation, was quoted as saying in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

"So we have to wait for banks' approval before resuming compensation payment."

The district People's Committee had announced early last year that land would be taken over from 62 households. But only 14 agreed to sell and move with only 11 getting the compensation so far.

"The compensation delay will surely impact others and they don't want to give their land now," Nguyen Van Truong, deputy chairman of the district People's Committee, said.

Lam said banks loans were not forthcoming because the lenders wanted the approved investment certificate, detailed 1:500 master plan, design, project and capital approval and other documents.

"But we can only get them once we have cleared land."

The city People's Committee has yet to begin the process of selling the current site of the Traumatology-Orthopaedics hospital on Tran Hung Dao Street, District 5.

It is estimated to be worth VND500 billion (US$23.1 million), but the new hospital will cost double and the city has not said how the difference will be raised.

In the normal course, the corporation will build the hospital using its own resources. The city will fix the price of the old site, hand it over to the builder and pay the rest from its coffers if there is a shortfall.

Both the corporation and banks had asked the city to set a value right at the time the project was approved.

"We are ready to return the project to the city with a condition it has to repay us the VND30 billion ($1.45 million) we spent on design and compensation," Lam said.

Construction of the Tumour Hospital's medical examination and high-tech treatment block was approved in 2004 but the work never got off the ground after the estimated cost increased from VND46 billion ($2.2 million) to 76 billion ($3.6 million).

The two hospitals are overloaded now and it is imperative that the construction begins soon.

Nguyen Van Lam, deputy head of the city People's Council's State Budget and Economics Commission, said, "I have requested relevant authorities to appraise the capability of [the builder] and speed up procedures." — VNS

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