Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson says a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed yesterday between the University of the West Indies (UWI) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) represents a bold move that will transform the country's health and education landscape. 

The MOU will see the start of negotiations for projects valued at between $60 and $70 billion at the Mona Campus of the regional institution. 

The deal includes the reconstruction of the University Hospital of the West Indies which will see an increase from 500 to 1,000 beds and modern facilities put in place.

It also includes the construction of a student centre including an auditorium which will double as an indoor sports facility, a small hotel to replace the Mona Visitors Lodge, the completion of the coal generation plant and reconstruction of College Common for housing for staff.

This is the largest project undertaken by the UWI to date. 

Ferguson says the MOU represents one of the largest and most courageous attempts on the part of any educational institution in Jamaica.

The Health Minister says he’s particularly pleased about the expansion of the UWI hospital.