Hospital project revamp

Monaco's plan to build a new hospital is to be reviewed from top to bottom.

Last week the Government announced a complete revision of the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace (CHPG) project that was set up in 2005 by the Iosis Group and designed by architect Claude Vasconi. Although the plans were presented in Spring 2008, new Government Minister Stephane Valeri announced he would study them as part of his role in January this year, and now they are to undergo a complete overhaul.

Future Centre Hospitalier Princesse GraceVasconi's vision of CHPG unlikely to be realised now

There are a number of reasons for re-thinking the project. First, the unfortunate death of the architect in December. Second, the high cost, with a budget of 700 million euros, does not sit well in the current economic climate. A third reason relates to changes in the French health care system. The French Government up to recently has reimbursed health facilities for the number of days patients spend in hospital, but now, remuneration is to be based on the nature, number and seriousness of the conditions treated. As a consequence, patients will be encouraged to spend less time in hospital beds, and since 60% of the CHPG's patients are within the French system, the shortfall in Monaco could be up to 30 million euros per year.

Consequently the original hospital proposal is to undergo a complete review that will take up to 9 months, in an effort to reduce the budget by about 50%. Minister of State Michel Roger gave assurances that construction will go ahead, but with changes. He suggested the inclusion of a research function in cooperation with teaching hospitals in the region. The planned increase in bed numbers will probably be dropped, and the location of the building is likely to change. It may be possible to build on the current site as originally proposed, however the difficulties of constructing a new hospital while the old one continues to function will likely lead to an alternative. In the running are the Annonciade II, and the Testimonio areas, both of which pose problems of a different kind.

The reaction of the National Council has been supportive, recognizing that the cost was too high, but with concerns over the use of other sites and what it will mean for other projects. Wherever the hospital is built, the Government is determined that it will be open for business as originally planned, by 2018-2020.

Future hospital : National Council reacts

Future hospital project given complete makeover

The future Princess Grace Hospital reviewed, corrected and probably replaced