Hundreds of laborers, engineers, designers and others working at the under-construction Sidra Medical and Research Center were told to leave the site this morning after the project’s main contractors were sacked, multiple sources have told Doha News.
A designer working as a subcontractor there said that he and his colleagues had been asked to clear out their desks and collect their belongings around 8am today. Security guards showed up to escort people from their offices and the construction site, he added.
“It happened so suddenly we were unable to do anything. Even the managers didn’t know anything about this. This happened at the top level – the very top level.”
Sidra construction was being managed by OHL International and Contrack International, which had signed on in 2008 as a joint venture to build the hospital.
Both companies declined to comment to Doha News about what happened, referring all questions to the hospital and Qatar Foundation, which is funding Sidra with an endowment of $7.9 billion.
Sidra has not yet responded to requests for comment. However, speaking to Doha News outside of the hospital today, a QF security representative said that the hospital site was closed until after Eid holidays because it was changing contractors.
And at nearly 9pm tonight, QF sent this press statement:
“Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) is a crucial project for the people of Qatar. Sidra is committed to bringing state-of-the-art patient care to Qatar, the Gulf region and the world.
On 22 July 2014, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development terminated the contract for design and construction of the Sidra Facilities in Doha, Qatar, which was awarded in 2008 to the OHL Internacional / Contrack (Cyprus) Ltd. Joint Venture.
Sidra has three essential missions: world-class patient care, medical education and biomedical research. When complete, the Sidra facilities will set new standards in patient care for women and children in Qatar and internationally.”