With the appointment of a new contractor, the Health Ministry believed the construction of Bera Hospital, which was delayed for almost two years, will be completed by 2019. (Bernama photo)

BERA: With the appointment of a new contractor, the Health Ministry believed the construction of Bera Hospital, which was delayed for almost two years, will be completed by 2019.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the failure of the previous contractor to meet the terms of the contract has resulted in the ballooning of the construction cost; from the initial cost of only RM88 million in 2012 to RM121 million.

He expressed regret over the delays and pointed out that the project was supposed to benefit the people in the Pahang district.

However, he said due to the contractor's failure to honour the contract despite a time extension, the government had to suffer losses.

"Since the previous contractor could not complete the job, the Public Works Department had blacklisted their services in December last year and have identified a new contractor.

"Works will resume once the additional budget of RM33 million is approved by the Economic Planning Unit.

"The ministry hopes the new contractor will be able to complete the job within the given time and there will be no more further delays.

"To avoid delays in the future, only reliable contractors will be given the responsibility to complete hospital construction projects," he said, adding the ministry will compile a list of contractors with experience and expertise in building hospitals.

Subramaniam has earlier attended a briefing on the progress of the hospital construction and visited the site near here.

Meanwhile, he confirmed that the six-year-old boy who was admitted to the Melaka Hospital on Wednesday has been tested negative for rabies.

He said checks revealed the boy from Sarawak had only showed symptoms and was not diagnosed with the virus.

"So far, all the rabies cases in the country are only in Serian, Sarawak," he said, not ruling out the outbreak was from Kalimantan, Indonesia due to the very active movement of people along the border.

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