Work has commenced at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) to improve its acute care ward for an enhanced standard of care for Solomon Islanders.
The project, funded by Australia involves renovating an old medical ward into a new 14 bed acute care ward with a nursing station and new adjoining ablutions block. The project will also provide the ward with specialized equipment, including training for NRH staff on the use and maintenance of the equipment. The new ward will increase the quality and level of clinical care available for Solomon Islanders. It is expected to be operational in March 2023.
To mark the occasion representatives from the Australian High Commission, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and the NRH met on site on 17 November 2022 to discuss this important undertaking.
At the site, Health Minister Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana thanked the government of Australia for the support stating that it will go a long way in preserving the health and lives of high dependency patients.
“As always the case, the high-dependency patients are cared for and managed together with all other patients within the NRH’s medical ward. This presents risks to the health and lives of those high-dependency patients who require greater attention, close monitoring, specialized equipment, and human resource capacity with the right knowledge and skillset”,
“ On this note may I thank the AUSMAT team deployed to the country early this year for COVID-19 responses and have identified this as a need and the Australian Government for accepting our request to fund the establishment of the acute care ward”, highlighted Dr Togamana.
He said this is indeed a complete support package from Australia, a wonderful gift to the government and people of Solomon Islands.
Acting Australian High Commissioner, Ms Sally-Anne Vincent, thanked the NRH staff for their response to Friday’s flash flood and said that the ward upgrade meets shared objectives, “while this project was sparked by the COVID-19 outbreak, we are keen to ensure it has longer term benefits for the NRH to provide improved acute care to all patients – hence our extra effort to provide a comprehensive package of support to enable the NRH staff to improve the quality of patient care.”
Ms Vincent also said she “looks forward to returning to the ward in the new year for its opening, and also to see how the Australia and Solomon Island health partnership can continue to accelerate progress towards the new National Health Strategic Plan 2022-31 objectives.”
This upgrade is a collaboration between the NRH, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Australia’s Solomon Islands Resource Facility, and the building contractor Reeves International. The Australian Government has committed SBD5.5million to the construction, equipment, and training package.