Honiara : 9 January 2017
Letter to the Editor of the Solomon Star and Island Sun Newspapers.
The extend of the crisis over a critical shortage of surgeons during last December and leading up to the first few days of the new year became known today.
Due to there being only a single surgeon available due to ill health and annual leave at the NRH, the organisation known as (DAISI) has had to step in to cover emergencies.
In a statement to the media, Dr Gary McKay, Secretary to the NGO and charity organisation Doctors Assisting in Solomon Islands (DAISI), said that in response to a request, DAISI is sending a team of eight volunteer surgeons, and three volunteer anesthetists to Gizo hospital, in the Western province to volunteer from Monday January 16 to Sunday January 29, 2017.
Meanwhile, today, the Australian High Commission in Honiara put out the following press statement regarding a New Phase of Support to the Solomon Islands Health Sector.
Australia and Solomon Islands today signed an agreement of up to AU$66 million (SB$377 million) over four years (2017 to 2020) for the Solomon Islands Health Sector.
The Australian funding will assist in the delivery of essential health services in Solomon Islands, focusing on improved primary health care and a stronger health system.
“Australia is immensely proud to continue our support to the Solomon Islands health sector”, said the Australian High Commissioner, Rod Brazier.
Improving the health and wellbeing of Solomon Islanders continues to be a key priority for the Australian aid program in Solomon Islands.
“The Solomon Islands Government, with Australian support, has already made tremendous gains in improving the health and wellbeing of Solomon Islanders,” continued High Commissioner Brazier.
“For example, malaria incidence has decreased by 75 per cent over the past decade, and the availability of essential medicines at primary health care facilities has increased from 53 per cent to 74 per cent.
“We hope this positive trajectory will continue over the next four years with the additional Australian funding being provided.”
Australia is a long term supporter of the Solomon Islands health sector.
Over the past eight years, Australia provided over AU$140 million (SB$801 million) in support to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services for the delivery of essential health services.”
Once again, I extend my thanks to Australia, and I feel sure on behalf of all readers, I write on your behalf expressing the same sentiments.