EVENT: LAUNCHING OF VALELEVU HEALTH CENTRE 24-HOURS GENERAL OUTPATIENT SERVICES
VENUE: VALELEVU HEALTH CENTRE
DATE: WEDNESDAY 17TH JANUARY 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good afternoon!
It is a great privilege and honor to be here among you all for the official launching of the Valelevu Health Centre 24/7 hours health services that we have embarked on since the beginning of this week.
Ladies and gentlemen, Valelevu Health Centre is one of the biggest and busiest health center in Suva subdivision serving a total of 58,000 population. On a daily basis, this health centre serves an average of 500 to 700 patients per day and even reaching up to 900 patients during disease outbreaks. And now with the opening of its doors for 24 hours and 7 days a week, Valelevu health centre is expected to serve an estimated population of about 200,000 people along the Suva-Nausori corridor.
Ladies and gentlemen, by way of background, the Valelevu Health Centre was established in 1982 covering the areas from Kenova to Laqere. It first started as a primary health care facility that provided 8-hour services.
Due to increasing population and demand for better health services, in 2009, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services have ventured into extending the health centre’s operating hours to 16 hours a day from 6:30am to 10pm; and since Monday, 15th January this year, Valelevu health centre is now open 24 hours!
These developments are aligned with the ongoing efforts of the Fijian Government to reachout to all Fijians be it through education, health, infrastructure, housing, primary industries and trade to name a few.
My ministry’s vision is creating “A healthy population” and to realize this vision, the Fijian Government is committed to enhance and improve access to health services for our ordinary Fijians through creating a supportive environment such as this 24-hour services at Valelevu health centre.
What will this 24-hour services at Valelevu health centre mean for all of us? This means that people living along the Suva – Nausori corridor that needs urgent medical attention and those who are critically ill will have access to medical services day and night. All in all it means through better service, better care leading to better health.
It also means that people who are victims of road accidents which is common along the Suva-Nausori roads and injuries are attended to at the health centre and stabilized before transfer to CWM hospital. This will also mean, unnecessary pain, suffering, hospitalizations, disability and even premature deaths is prevented or reduced. This will also mean that people will still be able to access health services without missing work or school and prevent people from overcrowding the health centre during early hours in the morning and in the afternoon after work or school rushing to the health centre before it closes.
The Fijian government has committed a lot of resources towards the realization of this 24-hour services. The number of doctors and nurses was increased to cater for this additional service. A 24-hour ambulance services will be based at this health centre for rapid response and transfer of acutely ill patients. The place where we are currently standing will be renovated to ensure a more spacious and suitable waiting area is provided for the patients and their relatives.
A modern and much improved emergency department will be built on the current existing wooden building on your left side when you exit the main gate.
These developments are in addition to the current and ongoing quality improvement programs undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to ensure that its customers, the patients and their families are provided the best health care services that they deserve. For the last 5 years the Fijian Government has invested a total of $102million into upgrading and constructing new health facilities around Fiji. In the Suva- Nausori corridor there are new health facilities to open that will uplift the health services and improve accessibility. We are looking at the new Makoi Maternity Unit and Naulu (Nakasi HC). The Makoi Maternity Unit will initially offer ambulatory services such as antenatal clinics, maternal and child health clinics, family planning and ultrasound. When fully open the Unit will also have 18 inpatient beds and three delivery rooms for low risk births. Ladies and gentlemen, the CWMH since 2015 has also got 4 new state of the art theater, Intensive Care Unit, Burns Unit and Coronary Care Unit. Similarly, the Raiwaqa Health Centre was also uplifted to include the dentistry services.
Ladies and gentlemen, apart from the capital projects the Ministry also strategizes on modernised systems that generate multiple benefits in terms of enhancing patient care and staff role. One of such systems includes the implementation of the electronic Queue Management System (QMS) which all of you are familiar with that was introduced in 2015 and has been actively operating at this health centre since January last year.
You can vouch it yourselves that before this new queue system, this waiting area was overcrowded and too noisy like a market place with everyone rushing to be seen by our staff. But now, everyone is seen by a doctor in an orderly and fair fashion, reducing patient’s waiting time, stress and anxiety while waiting.
This electronic queue system also measures our staff service time and provides an effective system of monitoring staff workload, to allow greater management to improve efficiency and productivity serving waiting patients.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry of Health and Medical services is mandated to provide equitable, accessible and quality health services to the people of Fiji.
We exist to help people maintain the highest level of good health that is attainable, that is a state of complete physical, mental, social well-being and free from disease. However, each one of us has the responsibility of looking after our own health, our family’s health. In order to do this, we need to keep ourselves healthy. Like they say, prevention is better than cure so we need to be proactive and take measures to stay healthy. We need to breathe fresh air by keeping our environment free from pollution and tobacco smoke. We need to eat a healthy and balanced diet with 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
We need to control the use of alcohol and too much drinking kava with unhealthy chasers that go with it. We need to be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. We need to actively participate in our health facilities prevention activities such as NCD and cancer screening. We need to access health services at the early stage of any illness before it becomes complicated, more costly to treat and not when it’s too late!
I urge everyone here to join our hands together to keep Fiji a happy, healthy and safe place to live in where children are nurtured in body and mind and where people work and age with dignity.
At this juncture, I wish to acknowledge all the staff of Valelevu Health Centre for their commitment and hardwork to deliver the health services to our communities. Likewise, also acknowledge all the staff of MOH including DSHS, Dr Luisa, DMO Central (Dr Dave Whippy) and SDMO (Dr Pablo Romakin) for their dedication, teamwork and commitment to deliver the 24/7 service here at Valelevu HC and we hope that in the near future we will be able to provide similar service to other busy health facilities around Fiji.
Ladies and gentlemen, with these few words, I now have the pleasure in launching the 24 hour services at Valelevu Health Centre.