PM SOGAVARE AND AMBASSADOR WEIMING LAUNCHED CONSTRUCTION OF NEW MEDICAL CENTER
Prime Minister Honorable Manasseh Sogavare MP together with China’s ambassador to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Cai Weiming have officially launched the construction of the new Solomon Islands National Referral Hospital Comprehensive Medical Center.
The launching involved cutting of ribbon and a ground- breaking ceremony at the eastern end of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) where the new medical center will be located.
The project is expected to be completed in 2025 and it is going to be a state of the art building complex housing specialized medical facilities to treat Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
When delivering his speech, the Prime Minister described the new medical center as the first of its kind in the country and perhaps the region.
PM Sogavare said the ground- breaking ceremony marks another milestone in our relationship with the government and people of the People’s Republic of China.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that within a span of four years PRC has funded a lot of important infrastructure developments including the largest stadium project which host the sporting events played during the recent Pacific Games.
He added that recently Ambassador Weiming and the Deputy Prime Minister have signed the agreement to commence the feasibility study of the Auki- Gwanaru’u airport road project. The projected is expected to start in 2024.
The Prime Minister further stated that PRC has agreed to assist Members of Parliament in financing important rural projects across the 50 constituencies.
PM Sogavare revealed that the new state of the art comprehensive medical center costs SBD$90 million and it “…will lift the range and quality of medical services available to many Solomon Islanders in the country without the need for referral to overseas institutions for investigations and treatment”.
According to the Prime Minister, the health services to be provided at the new medical center are comprehensive and quality health care services for patients with heart diseases, kidney diseases, prostatic diseases, and highly specialized services for non- communicable diseases (NCD).
The center will also provide specialized services in Chinese medicine, acupuncture.
The Prime Minister also spoke extensively about the Health Cooperation between Solomon Islands and China which was formalized in 2021. The Health Cooperation enabled a number of important developments which include the supply of 50,000 doses of sinopharm during the height of COVID 19 pandemic. The cooperation further enabled China to donate SBD $2 million to finance the rollout of COVID 19 vaccine and establishment of an isolation facility within the NRH.
He said the Health Cooperation enabled the deployment of Chinese Medical Team consisting 5 personnel, 3 doctors, 1 interpreter, and 1 chef. The initial team arrived earlier and provided medical services since 2022. A second team arrived in March this year.
PM Sogavare acknowledged that NCD is the number one killer in the country, and the new medical center is just one part of a more comprehensive approach to the NCD crisis.
The Prime Minister has put on notice the tobacco companies, stating that government will come hard on them to reduce tobacco consumption as per the Solomon Islands Tobacco Act 2010. New guidelines will be made on advertisement and promotions, and packaging and labeling requirements.
In preparation for the rollout of the services at the new medical center, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and NRH have come up with a 10 year training plan to equip doctors and nurses with necessary skills in anticipation of the new medical center.
Next year 10 of our medical personnel will travel to China, Guizhou Medical University Hospital to undertake a 3 months training.
– OPMC PRESS SECRETARIAT