“We have to do it on time, we have to do it quickly. It doesn't need to take two years, three years, four years, five years for a project in Italy,” said Conte, during a ceremony to mark the start of work on the new San Cataldo hospital in the southern city, Italian media reports
The group of local companies commissioned to deliver the project aim to have it completed in just 399 working days – compared to the planned 1,245 days set out in the tender – by working day and night over three shifts.
The prime minister said the rapid hospital building project was “like the Genoa Bridge”, which was rebuilt in under a year following a deadly collapse in heavy rain in 2018.
The urgently-needed new bridge was inaugurated in August 2020
, after work began in October 2019 – and continued day and night throughout Italy's strict lockdown.
The new Genoa bridge on the day of its inauguration. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
Many parts of southern Italy have long lacked adequate healthcare provisions after years of under-investment and corruption scandals.
The problems were highlighted earlier this year as hospitals in the south scrambled to prepare for potential outbreaks of coronavirus infections locally.
However, even better-funded hospitals in wealthier northern regions struggled to cope during the peak of the outbreak in Italy,