Wale says gov’t negligence of NRH ‘ a disgrace’
LEADER of Opposition Hon Matthew Wale says it is disgraceful that the government continues to turn a blind eye on the ongoing ‘flooding’ issue at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
Hon Wale said frequent flooding at the NRH during wet seasons is an issue that has plagued NRH for last 20 years.
Yet, he said the government continue to ignore it.
“Flooding and clogging of the drainage system is not a new problem for NRH. Yet, we continue to experience similar problems for 20 years until today,” he said.
The Opposition Office has received concerns from workers and patients at the NRH that the recent flooding has placed vital health system equipment’s at high risk.
“We have a run down National Hospital and yet the government is turning a blind eye on its immediate needs and one of the most urgent one is to address the flooding and drainage issue at the hospital,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said it seems the government does not have an alternative plan to address this issue and authorities are treating this as business as usual.
“There has to be a better approach to resolve this on-going problem unless some people are not doing their job,” Hon Wale said.
He said it is unfortunate that the government is misleading people to believe and announcing in Parliament that our NRH is improving when the recent flooding clearly indicates that NRH has gone from bad to worse.
Hon Wale said he is aware that the NRH Evacuation plan is on stand by and there are MOUs with various organizations to evacuate people if it becomes worse.
He said while it is practical to have these arrangements in place, evacuating people should be the last resort.
“The immediate option is to fix the drainage and leaking roofs urgently,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said this is an issue amongst many others that should push the Government into prioritising the relocation plan of NRH.
“We cannot wait another 10 years to relocate NRH. And we cannot continue to allow the current NRH to face these problems every wet season for the next 10 years,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said the same political will to given to the Pacific Games 2023 should also be given to the relocation of the NRH.
“The same desire and political will used to drive the construction of infrastructures for the PG 2023 should also be given to relocate and build NRH in the next 5 years,” Hon Wale said.
He said the construction of the new Comprehensive Medical Centre (CMC) to be built by China and other proposed developments for NRH should be built at the new NRH site.
The Opposition Leader said the government needs to step up and address the deteriorating realities faced by the NRH and commence work to relocate NRH with urgency.
“To keep on neglecting these serious issues should no longer be an option for the government. What will it take for the government to have the will to put these decisions into actions? Hon Wale questioned.