General Public Wishes to Access Operations and Treatments from Mercy are to first visit NRH or other Clinics for Assessment
People wanting to access health services on board the Mercy ship will have to follow the normal process of accessing healthcare services through the referral system from the clinics to the National Referral Hospital.
Acting Medical Superintendent and Head of Pediatrics Ward at the National Referral Hospital, Dr Titus Nasi made the clarification at a press conference hosted at the US Consular office in Honiara today.
“There’s no well check with the public that is organized with the hospital as I understand. Those who have underlying illnesses and want to get reviewed, they need to come to the HCC clinics, and if they think they need to be seen by a specialist then they can come to the national referral hospital.
“Those who know their doctors or departments they have been managed at, they can contact them and get seen by the nurses there, and then they can get referred or reviewed onboard depending on the decisions between the two teams if it’s necessary to go onboard. But it’s not open for everyone to go on board at the moment,” Dr Nasi explained.
He said NRH is working closely with the Mercy ship to ensure patients in dire need receive medical attention.
“Each department has days and times that they will work side by side with the hospital staff here on shore and on the ship. And we have been selecting patients to see if those that require treatment on board to go onboard or if we can manage them together at the hospital,” he said.
Meanwhile Pacific Partnership 2022 Mission Commander U.S Navy Capt. Hank Kim, said they have already received referrals from the National Referral Hospital and have also prepared for surgeries.
He also highlighted that their dental team will be visiting 21 schools in Honiara.
“We have visited a few already and I think we have done about 150 exams and in total, our current estimate is that we will see a thousand students in these schools for dental exams,” he stated.
A statement from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services today informed the public that the operation of the Sea Mercy, the floating hospital, with regards to health care provision will be both on the ship and at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) from today (30th August) till 9th of September and will be conducted jointly with the local medical team.
For operations and treatment on board the Sea Mercy, there have been patients admitted at NRH that were identified and have been scheduled for admission on board the vessel for specialised medical treatment and procedures.
On the other hand, a team from Sea Mercy which includes, surgeons, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Internal Medicine, paediatrics, optometrists, OT (Anaesthesia/surgical), Pharmacist, laboratories, Biomedical, Rehabilitation, Psychiatrist/mental health specialist including, Infection Control, CSSD, Nutritionist will be deployed to NRH for side by side exchanges while treating and caring for patients. Training to build the capacity of medical staff at NRH will also be conducted.
Some in- patients at NRH wards who will be seen by both local and the visiting medical team at NRH without the need to board Sea Mercy. They too have already been identified by the NRH clinical team.
From the 6th to the 9th of September, a joint operation consisting of the medical team from Sea Mercy and NRH will be deployed to Malaita and Western province where they will conduct surgeries and dermatology, including reproductive health screening and treatment.
In Malaita, the team will be working at the Kilufi hospital in Auki while other groups will be stationed at Dala and Fauambu clinics. In the Western province operations will be conducted from the Gizo Hospital. Community outreach programs will also be held in these provinces.
Other public health programs such as dental examinations will be conducted in schools and communities including public health awareness and community outreach. Exact locations will be communicated shortly.
By Eliza Kukutu