Honiara : 16 August 2017
Letter to the Editors, Solomon Star and Island Sun newspapers.
With the, initial, kind intervention of a friend and former surgeon at the NRH,, Herman Oberli, the Swiss Army, SolTuna and the National Fisheries Developments Ltd (NFD), Helena Goldie Hospital has recently welcomed two retired, volunteer, doctors from Switzerland and much needed medical equipment and technology.
Chantal Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis is a paediatric physician who worked at several women’s and children’s hospitals in Switzerland.
Her husband, Erhard Ruckstuhl, an internal medicine physician, has worked in several medical centres and ambulance services. Ruckstuhl also taught medicine at the University of Berne.
The NFD and SolTuna are supporting the doctors’ two year voluntary assignment by providing them with a fortnightly subsistence allowance.
Back in Switzerland Dr Erthard’s local ambulance service donated an ambulance for use at Helena Goldie Hospital.
The Swiss army has donated 60 hospital beds and a mobile self-contained resuscitation container.
Other medical equipment the pair of volunteer doctors have obtained for the Gizo based hospital includes, an electrocardiogram, a portable ultrasound, a spirometer, an eye testing computer and surgical instruments.
SolTuna will be arranging the importation of four containers of the donated medical equipment and the ambulance when they arrive in Noro during August. The NFD is also providing logistics support in moving the consignment from Noro port to the hospital.
George Tora, Helena Goldie Hospital Secretary, has reportedly said, “We are truly blessed to welcome Dr. Ruckstuhl and Dr. Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis to Helena Goldie. The hospital is thrilled to receive these two professionals, and we are thankful for the ambulance and generous donations of equipment and supplies. Together with the skills and experience of the Dr. Chantal Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis and Dr. Erhard Ruckstuhl, Helena Goldie Hospital will be able to do so much more. It will change lives.”
I would like to add my personal thanks to the two volunteer doctors and to all those concerned in helping the work of the Helena Goldie Hospital, including the Swiss army.