A MEMORANDUM of understanding for a $23million Ba Hospital, to be constructed by the government and the Ba Chamber of Commerce next year, was signed on Friday by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Ba Chamber of Commerce president Dinesh Patel.
Commodore Bainimarama described it as an ambitious capital project with potential to benefit about 90,000 people, adding that the signing has sealed a public-private partnership.
"I often discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in delivering quality, efficiency and transparency to the Fijian people, and today's MOU is a perfect example of this," Commodore Bainimarama said.
"The Ba Chamber of Commerce has provided a detailed plan for the different phases of construction and will play a key role in partnering with the government to ensure the successful completion of the project by providing their project management skills.
"They have undertaken to line up the architects and engineers, negotiate with contractors in a competitive bidding process, and source as many Fiji-made materials, and materials not available locally at competitive and preferably discounted pricing."
Commodore Bainimarama said government would fund the first phase of construction with an allocation of $7.3million in 2014.
"Working with the Ba Chamber of Commerce, we hope to have all plans finalised in the next couple of months for construction to begin in January next year."
The Prime Minister said Ba was leading the way for other chambers of commerce and non government organisations.
"My government is always looking for opportunities to form productive partnerships with communities and NGOs to improve the lives of Fijians.
"Under Fiji's new Constitution, every Fijian has the right to health. This means any government must do all within its available resources to provide health care services and health care facilities that promote and protect good health.