The Ministry of Health says it notes "the ongoing and justified national interest" in the Couva Children’s Hospital and is committed to opening the facility.
A statement by the ministry notes that the facility was commissioned by the then Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar, on August 14th , 2015 a mere three weeks before the 2015 general election.
"It is to be noted that this was a ceremonial opening and no citizen of Trinidad and Tobago ever received treatment there as, at that time, it was still a construction site with incomplete facilities. It was thus unfit and unsafe for occupation by medical personnel," the statement said.
It added; "It is to be noted that part of the perimeter road, next to the unfinished detention pond, collapsed in early 2016. Construction was completed in July 2016. The Ministry of Health hopes that this corrects any perception that this facility has been unused for two or three years."
The ministry is seeking to reassure the nation that children continue to receive care at the Wendy Fitzwilliam Paediatric Hospital which is only 70% occupied.
"Finally, as stated during the 2017 budget debate, the facility will be operationalised during 2018 and efforts to do this are far advanced," the statement concluded.