By Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 8 September:
A ceremony to mark the start of fitting out the second building of the Benghazi Medical Centre . . .[restrict]took pace on Friday, attended by Health Minister Fatima Hamroush, French Ambassador to Libya Antoine Sivan, the Director General of Benghazi Medical Centre, Dr Fathi Salem Jehani, and members of the GNC and of Benghazi local council as well representatives from local civil society organisations.
Jehani said that when open the second building would prove a major leap forward in the provision of quality healthcare in the city and the east of the country. It would accommodate 500 beds and include departments for women, child birth, tumour treatment and orthopedic surgery. It would be ready in three to ten months.
“We are happy that we will be cooperating with Libya in providing the necessary needed equipment for one of the largest hospital of Benghazi”, said French Ambassador Sivan.
The hospital is being fitted in collaboration with French company Denos and France has been involved in financing the hospital’s development.
Work started on building the medical centre in 1969, before Qaddafi seized power. But such was his enmity towards the city that forty-three years later it is remains unfinished. The first building is operational, the second is only now being fitted out and the third remains unused.
Asked why so many projects had been delayed, given that the government has been in office long enough, Health Minister Hamroush said “we have encountered many obstacles beyond our control. Some of them were administrative, but most were financial.
The ministry was now working flat out, she said, at more than 18 hours per day, and took it responsibilities seriously. There had been many difficulties, she admitted, “but we managed to overcome many of them and the coming days will show the scale of efforts made by the Ministry of Health”.
“Cash has now become available and projects are being accomplished. We still have much work to do. Many of projects are to be implemented in Benghazi including, besides Benghazi Medical Centre, the Infertility Medical Centre.” It was ready to open , she said, and the only obstacle has been the lack of fully-qualified medical staff. “But we are we are working hard to resolve the problem.”