RESPONSE TO SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS ON NAVOSA SUBDIVISIONAL HOSPITAL
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services wishes to clarify and correct recent statements posted on social media platform “Facebook” on the recently opened new Navosa Subdivisional Hospital in Vatumali, in the interior of Navosa.
The opening of the hospital officially signaled the establishment of the Navosa health subdivision, separate from the former Nadroga/Navosa health subdivision which represented the growth and expansion of government health services to meet the growing health need of the people of Fiji. This momentous development took many years to carefully plan, organize and implement, and required the input and blessings of many stakeholders that included the Yasana Navosa and the Yasana Nadroga, the seven yavusa in the province of Navosa, the Turaga na Tui Magodro and the tikina of Magodro, the vanua Nabuavatu, the iTaukei Lands Trust Board, the construction company Yanjian Group (Fiji) Company Limited, and the many agencies and machinery of government including the Ministry of Economy and the Health Ministry, who facilitated the planning, designing, funding, environmental assessment, preparation and mitigation, and the construction of the hospital. The result is the new 20-bed hospital that the people of Navosa were overjoyed to open on Tuesday 23 February 2021, that they can call their own and identify with, that brings hope and opportunities for better health access and high quality specialist health care closer to their homes, and that will reduce the need for the people to expand considerable monetary and emotional resources and time, to access higher levels of health services at Sigatoka, Lautoka or Suva.
As stated by Permanent Secretary Dr Fong after the opening ceremony, the ministry has planned and is now implementing over the next 3 months, the phased establishment of services at the new hospital. This approach ensures that as the hospital builds up its case load, service scope and processes, the appropriate workforce and support services are also established to match the needs of each aspect of the hospital service and its target population.
The ministry has been approved FJD$2.6 million worth of biomedical equipment for the Navosa SD Hospital. The new state-of-the-art digital portable x-ray machine and work station is one of the twenty two new digital x-ray machines (DR-Machines) that were recently distributed across the country. The new dental chair and the laboratory blood test machine (FBC) have been installed and commissioned for permanent use at the hospital. Additional biomedical equipment are awaited to complete the approved list of equipment for the hospital. Equipment in the operating theatre will be further enhanced to facilitate the mobile and fixed surgical capabilities planned for the hospital. As often happens, it is also anticipated that as the health services swing into full motion over the next three months, the equipment list will require further modification to meet emerging or new health service needs that may be identified.
The new hospital beds now at the new hospital were bought by government and initially deployed to the new Ba Hospital in anticipation for the potential massive increase in admission as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020. Now, having achieved COVID-contained status and alleviating the need for stand-by inpatient beds at Ba Hospital, the ministry has decided to deploy these new beds for immediate use at the new Navosa SD Hospital where they will be permanently inventoried. This is not an unusual action, and the Ministry has employed this strategy in the past and will continue to do so in the future, to prudently utilize its available resources to their maximum potential to meet existing and new services’ needs. The ministry also regularly purchases hospital beds from abroad through local distributors to replace existing ones and meet new needs, and currently expects to receive over the next few weeks it’s order of 914 new hospital beds valued at more than FJD$3.2million.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, the Hon Minister alluded to the fact that when fully operational, the hospital’s 40-strong health workforce using the facility’s investigative and treatment capabilities will provide quality outpatient and inpatient primary and secondary health care services for babies, children, pregnant and nursing mothers, older people and those with non-communicable diseases (NCD), and the stabilization of sick patients before they are transferred to a higher level health facility. The newly build and specially lighted helipad will allow for the urgent transfer by air of very sick patients from the hospital, as well as provide the capacity to fly in emergency surgical or medical teams for life saving treatment at the hospital. The new subdivisional hospital will deliver health services according to the Ministry’s newly implemented remodeled health services delivery framework that will make the health service COVID safe and responsive to health emergencies and climate disasters.
The Ministry is pleased that the new hospital has been opened by the Hon Prime Minister and joins the people of Navosa in celebrating the realization of this much awaited dream, and looks forward to working together with the people of Navosa to improve the health status of their population.