Medical Superintendent and Management of CWM Hospital

Senior Health Executives

Representatives of our Public Private Partnerships

Digicel and International Women’s Association

Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am privileged to be with you this morning to officiate at the Commissioning of projects at CWM Hospital.  Health Systems Reform and Strengthening in the last five (5) years has taken on monumental leaps in Fiji.

We had a fragile system with all components in areas of Human Resource (HR), Technology, Infrastructure and pharmaceutical and medical consumables supplies in dire straits.

A multi prongs approach was utilized to short-medium term gains and improvements.

In the area of HRH:  Basic recruitment was increased at both the nursing and medical schools.  Middle level training increased in areas of need.  Overseas experience for postgraduates increased as enhanced cooperation developed in areas of specialist surgery.

Longer term gains will accrue as the Post Graduate programs at Fiji National University’s College, Medicine and Health Science is modernized and adequately manpowered with stronger mentors, teachers and professors.

Technology upgrade in the last five (5) years has seen the introduction of mammogram, CAT, MRI, ultrasound and cardiac echo services being developed with Telemedicine links to overseas partners for 2o opinions if needed.

The Cardiology services is almost complete but no quite seamless, with non-invasive cardiac assessment, angiography, stents, valvoplasty, pacemaker services and open cardiac surgery now undertaken at CWM and Lautoka.


We note Governments injection of $30million into infrastructural upgrades in 2014 after a process of rationalizing space utilization.

  • The East Wing (CWM) is undergoing some very painful modifications.  Shortly the maternity units 1st phase to develop 200 beds, additional delivery suites and operating theatres will be commissioned for 2014 – 2015.
  • Our focus is nationwide with nursing stations, health centers, subdivisional hospitals receiving a facelift after decades of in attention.

HRH/Technology and Pharmaceutical/Consumable supplies are being reviewed to optimization.

The Position on Pharmaceutical/Medical Consumables

This is a very complex issue with the global market changing, population movement in country, transportation in/out country of items and changing patterns of prescribing.

Our efficiency levels are must more robust, wastage markedly reduced and better procurement, storage and distribution in place.

  • Safe motherhood Initiatives by Digicel (CSR) sees the internal renovations of the maternity unit with improved paintwork, sanitary facilities and equipment donations in progress.

We are very grateful to Digicel for this Corporate Social Responsibility whilst Ministry of Health painted the maternity externally in 2013.

  • The Top Kitchen at CWM is no longer an Occupational Health and Safety risk with better facilities, a new head dietitian we expect better quality food for our patients and in house staff.

The principles of salt, sugar and oil consumption, based on NCD Best Buys is being promoted further.

Reform in health care have included changing the laws, establishing Policy, Plans and operational implementation.  The Health Policy, Planning, Budget Analysis Unit and the Wellness Unit stand out as two shining examples.

  • Innovation programs include:
  • The establishment the Prosthetic Unit for Diabetic and other Amputees.
  • The step down Stroke Unit at Tamavua
  • The Diabetic Hubs
  • The NCD Bus – for outreach
  • Revitalization of Community Health Worker Program

As the Country moves for Communicable Diseases focus to Non Communicable Disease we have been eclipsed by this dengue outbreak in 2014.

The messages remain clear that the dengue types outbreak is lethal but preventable if all of society takes responsibility.

The Media can very well play the 4th pillar role of governance and encourage and support positive measures to combat stagnant water accumulation and the destruction of mosquito breeding, rather than create fear and a hype about the fatalities which are very sad events on a daily basis.  Ministry of Health offers regular media conferences and has no political agenda on this issue.

Today we have a mix of achievements to share and demonstrate at CWM Hospital through Public Private Partnership and Corporate Social Responsibility with Ministry of Health.

  • The liquid Cytology Analyzer raises our ability to screen up to 50,000 pap smears with our current staff level.  Cancer Screening becomes a lot more robust as a consequence.
  • Apart from the HPV vaccine introduce in 2011 with Support of the Government of Australia/Fiji and more recently the trials of V.I.A. and Cyrocautery this analysers will assist positively, hoping to address premature cancer disability and death.
  • The Urology Clinic with its modern lithotripter will now address kidney stones without the large incisions of the past and long hospital stays.  The unit will become the startup of a male health unit too.

The top of the range lithotripter and Uro-station have has trial runs and successfully treated patients from Fiji wide destinations in the last six (6) weeks.

Finally:  The Old Oxfam Family Planning Clinic has had an extreme makeover thanks to the Executive and Members of the International Womens Association.  The new IWA Wellness Centre will provide a Central Hub for areas of Womens Health incorporating Advocacy on Family Life, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Family Planning, Cancer Screening and Counselling Services.

Bubbly Mohan and Caroline Rouse stand out as women of diamond substance.  Bright, shining, unbreakable, both have been dug out of the depths of Sri Lanka and Australia to impact the lives of our Fijian women.

Ladies we are indebted to both of you and your executive committee.

They will tell you more of their plans for 2014.

Before I conclude – Many thanks to all our Nursing and Medical Staff for all the effort being put up with the excessive strain of this Dengue outbreak.  Sometimes society kills the messenger and does not heed the message.

We do need to up our “internal” and “external” communication skills in situations of grief, dying and death.

This year we must focus on better “human skills”Customers Focus and ownership of the new services and technology.

To the organizers and participants – Thank you and God Bless.
Dr. Neil Sharma – Minister for Health – Fiji