The Guadalcanal Provincial government is disappointed and pushing back on the National Government’s proposal to make the Guadalcanal Provincial Health Authority responsible for COVID-19 “mild positive cases.”
This follows pressure from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) for Guadalcanal Province to be in-charge of such cases if they occur.
A statement from the Guadalcanal Province Premier, Hon. Francis Mbelande Sade says the Guadalcanal Provincial Health Authority does not have the capacity to deal with infectious diseases such as CPVID-19.
Premier Sade says, “while the Guadalcanal Province is willing to assist in the fight against the coronavirus, the Guadalcanal Provincial Health Authority does not have the required training, equipment, medical facilities and the financial capacity to address it.”
He reveals, Guadalcanal Province did not receive any assistance from the millions of dollars that the National Government had allocated to prepare for COVID-19.
“In April 2020, the Guadalcanal Provincial Government made a submission to the Oversight Committee on COVID-19 (OSC), requesting SBD$10 million to build an ICU Center in East Guadalcanal and purchase a qPCR Machine. That request was never acknowledged.”
Premier Sade reminds the National Government that Guadalcanal Province is the first point of entry into the country by air because Henderson Airport is within the Guadalcanal Provincial boundary.
He says, “given that Guadalcanal Province is the first point of entry and therefore the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, one would have thought the National Government would have helped improve the capacity of the Province’s Health Authority. They didn’t.”
The Premier states it was because of this that in May 2020 he expressed concern about the overlapping boundaries of the Guadalcanal Province and the Honiara City Council (HCC) declared under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020.
In May, Premier Sade stated his disappointment, “with the National Government for including part of the Guadalcanal Province as Honiara in the Emergency declaration zone. Those boundaries declared in the SOE are simply not Honiara, they’re Guadalcanal boundaries.”
He states that clear boundaries would have identified the Guadalcanal Provincial Health Authority’s areas of responsibility, determine what is needed and the nature of the partnership with the MHMS.
He says the MHMS cannot pressure the Guadalcanal Provincial Health Authority to perform duties that it does not have the capacity to do.
“If the National Government wants Guadalcanal Province to assist in the fight against COVID-19, then it should help build the Province’s capacity,” says Hon. Sade.
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