The project, which began in May 2012, with plans to open in May 2015, is 65% complete
Panama’s City of Health continues on life support after yet another failed attempt to revive its flagging recovery program.
The future of the flagship project of the Ricardo Martinelli era, once destined to carry his name is not yet clear to the authorities of the Social Security Fund (CSS) reports La Prensa.
The first phase of the project in Ancon did not finish in April, as established in a delivery schedule prepared in 2018 with the Consorcio Construcciones Hospitalarias, SA (comprising FCC Construcción and FCC Construcción of Central America).
The National Directorate of Infrastructure and Support Services of the CSS set a work plan for the works to be concluded in stages. in April 2019 the Cardiological Institute and the Nephrological Institute, among other areas, had to be completed and approved, until last February their advance was 68%.
Next November the general hospitalization area for adults, the surgical unit, the intensive care units, the genetics laboratory and the auditorium were to be ready. None will be delivered on the scheduled date.
The work, which began to be built in May 2012 with plans to complete in May 2015, has been delayed fpr four years and overall progress of 65%, only 2% more than that reported by the CSS in December last year.
The National Directorate of Infrastructure and Support Services of the CSS informed La Prensa that the consortium must present a new schedule, which will be evaluated by the entity to issue the necessary recommendations to reduce delivery times.
In addition, the CSS says assured that once it has the new schedule, it will be able to disclose it with the delivery dates of each one of the five phases of the project, which also includes the construction of the new National Oncological Institute (ION).
Guillermo Puga, representative of the workers before the board of directors of the CSS, said that the company could not finish the first phase of the City of Health because it did not have the necessary number of workers. "They [the consortium] committed to have 3,000 workers and only have 1,500 in the project," he said.
According to Puga, the CSS institution has already begun to apply fines to the company,
Winners and losers
The former president of the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects, Gustavo Bernal, said that with this project "it seems that who is winning is the contractor and not the State", because the CSS has had to invest more than agreed, due to restructuring. "We as an organization have followed up on the City of Health, and we are really concerned about the dilation and the over-cost," he warned.
Bernal said The engineer said that in the end, it will be a mega-project with a mega-cost, which will not have medical and technical personnel.
Former Comptroller Carlos Vallarino said that in the construction of the City of Health poor planning, lack of inspections and incorrect decisions. have converged.
Two government administrations have passed and the project, which is necessary for the insured population of the country, has not been completed, he said.