Investors say giant HCMC hospital project on track

Hoa Lam-Shangri-La Healthcare Limited Liability Company has rejected reports of a delay in building its planned US$770 million general hospital in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District, and city authorities have backed its claim.

An artist's impression of the healthcare park project

Speaking to the media November 5, executives from the Vietnamese-Singaporean company explained the progress made in the construction of the facility, saying a master plan for allotting land has been completed as have an environment impact assessment and survey of land and infrastructure.

The company has spent VND250 billion ($14 million) on this, they said.

Officials from the city Departments of Planning and Investment and Construction corroborated their statements.

Lai Voon Hon, general director of the company, said usually, investors like us, need to receive all land use rights before investing in the project, however, in the case of the hospital the company is going ahead despite not having such rights, as yet.

In the first phase, in 2008-10, a 250-bed general hospital costing US$80 million using regional-standard technologies, a training center, apartment blocks, and a school are to be built.

The work, now awaiting approval from the Ministry of Construction, is expected to begin in December and be finished in the third quarter of 2011.

Deputy head of the Department of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Thi Huu Hoa, said the company has completed the building foundations which is used as an operation office for the project.

Deputy chief of the Department of Construction, Nguyen Van Hiep, said in spite of the global economic downturn and the size of the investment, the company is trying its best to complete it on schedule.

But due to the huge size of the project, the company had to seek permission from ministries and make some changes, causing a delay of six months, Mr. Hiep said.

Nevertheless, the work has been progressing as fast or even faster than on most other projects in the district, he added.

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By Phong Lan - Translated by Hong Nhu

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