Here is the text of the speech at the opening of the new extension of the Labasa Hospital.
PM Bainimarama - Address at the Opening of the Labasa Hospital New Extension
Mar 27, 2009, 11:58
Address at the Opening of the Labasa Hospital New Extension
- Friday 20th March, 2009 - LABASA
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to be here this morning to officially open the New Extension of the Labasa Hospital.
The planning and construction of this New Extension has been wholly funded by the Fiji Government. This initiative has been done in recognition of the need to develop the Northern Division and to improve the lives of the people in the North.
The opening of this new extension is a milestone as Labasa Hospital is the main referral centre for hospital services in the North. The people in the North will now enjoy better inpatient facilities and better Pathology services. The new Bio-medical Engineering Unit within the new complex will ensure timely repair and servicing of Bio-medical equipment which used to be sent to the CWM Hospital. Improving the Bio-medical Engineering Services will further boost my Government’s desire to improve the medical technology as we fully recognize the importance of having good medical equipment in the provision of health services.
The New Extension will also house new offices for senior staff and also include new meeting and training rooms. This Government fully supports the need to build capacity among our health staff and having good training rooms is an important aspect of that. I understand that Hospital staff especially doctors, who have completed their post-graduate studies have joined the Hospital in the past six(6) months and more are expected to join in the future after completing postgraduate studies.
The Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress has “Improving the Health Service Delivery” as one of its eleven (11) Key Pillars for Rebuilding Fiji. As you know the over-arching objective of the People’s Charter is to rebuild Fiji into a non-racial, culturally vibrant and united, well-governed and truly democratic nation. A nation that seeks progress and prosperity through merit-based equality of opportunity and peace.
One of the key strategies of improving the health service delivery is the decentralisation of services particularly the specialised services. The decentralization of the General Outpatient Services has already started in the Central Division with the extended opening hours of the Valelevu and Makoi Health Centres. This week a group of 20 CWM Hospital staff that includes surgeons, physicians and anaesthetists are in Levuka providing specialist services. Plans for other outreach services from the Specialist Hospitals including the Labasa Hospital are already being implemented.
People living in rural areas should now benefit from the provision of these specialist services closer to home and saves them the cost of traveling to the Divisional Hospitals. We are determined to make health services more accessible to our people.
I have also being informed that the South Korean Government through KOICA is funding the construction of a new Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department and Ante-Natal Clinic within the old hospital complex. The new A&E should be completed by mid 2009. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Korean Government for the kind gesture and support towards the Vanualevu Development Plan.
The old hospital complex which I have been told is close to 40 years old (?) will also be undergoing major renovations this year. This includes a new Accident and Emergency Department, Ante-Natal Clinic, High Depending Unit, Coronary Care Unit and Eye Department. The people of Vanua Levu should expect to enjoy better health facilities and services within the next few months.
I also wish to acknowledge other agencies and organization including the Friendly North Festival and the Hospital’s Board of Visitors for their contribution to improving the Labasa Hospital facilities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now my great pleasure to officially open the New Extension of the Labasa Hospital.
(*mistake here - it is over 72 years old as I know of a certain baby boy born in that hospital at least 72 years ago so the researcher didn't do his/her homework. The first hospital in the Labasa area was at Vuo as the early vavalagi type development (sugar mills etc.) was in the Malau area.)