The number of deaths at the National Referral Hospital last year was 566, 17 more than the previous year.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services issued the figures tonight in response to Transparency International Solomon Islands and the leadership of Solomon Island Democratic Party. Both expressed concerns about death rates at the hospital and the need to also give attention to other diseases not just COVID-19.
Tonight, MHMS says that the annual number of deaths recorded at NRH in the past three years, which includes pre COVID-19 (2018-2019) and during COVID-19, response (2020) remained between 500 – 600 deaths annually.
“The number of deaths recorded in NRH was 549 in 2019 and 566 in 2020 resulting in 17 additional deaths. The number of hospital admissions in the two years was 12,568 and 11,466, which translates into death rate of 43.6 and 49.3 in the years 2019 and 2020 respectively,” the statement says.
It says one of the main reasons behind the increase in death rate is explained by case mix approach. “As part of COVID response, we discouraged people with mild illnesses to come to the NRH, and criteria for admission into the hospital was made rigid to admit cases strictly requiring admission in the NRH. As a result, we ended up with more proportion of serious cases in the hospital, which resulted in higher death rates. It will be irrational to attribute this increase to COVID response,” the statement says.
- Read full reply from MHMS: https://sbm.sb/2021/01/25/mhms-response-to-tsi-sidp/