Contractors shunning low-paying work renovating older hospitals

Kyodo

Twenty-five national hospitals opened bids for rehabilitating their old buildings between April and September, but 21 were unable to find successful bidders because contractors are reluctant to accept low-cost orders due to labor shortages and rising personnel costs, according to the National Hospital Organization.

In the unsuccessful cases, bidders presented higher offers than expected, the independent administrative agency said Saturday.

“We determined it would be money-losing work,” said an official at a general contractor that refrained from participating in any of the bidding. “We need to be selective about which projects we bid for as we face labor shortages and growing labor costs.”

With contractors focusing on the massive reconstruction work going on in the badly damaged Tohoku region and other disaster-prevention work, unsuccessful bidding has also been seen for work at public schools and expressways.

Concerns are growing that construction of necessary facilities, including hospitals and schools, may be hampered further as work related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will soon start to pick up speed.