A report published in the Solomon Star yesterday by long-time journalist and writer, Alfred Sasko, gave some disturbing news relating to the operational ability of the National Referral Hospital and particularly to the wellbeing and care of sick patients and those needing elective surgery at the NRH.
I quote the report in full.
"Unavailability of medical consumables sends National Referral Hospital Theatres into emergency mode." (Alfred Sasako)
Theatres at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) are reportedly being forced to go into emergency mode as medical consumables such as gauge and other accessories are no longer available.
Because of the situation, “all hospital departments who are theatre users have decided to go into emergency mode.”
This means that only dying emergency cases will be prioritized and all elective cases suspended, according to insiders.
The dire situation at the nation’s top and government’s only hospital is happening while nine containers of medical supplies sit at the Point Cruz wharf for more than six and a half months.
These containers are still at the wharf, Solomon Ports confirmed yesterday.
They have been sitting at the Point Cruz wharf since March this year.
There has been no explanation from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and or the National Referral Hospital.
Health authorities appear to have ignored media inquiries on why these containers were not cleared, while the sick and dying remain without treatment.
At one point, the finger of blame was pointed at the Ministry of Finance and Treasury for the delay in paying import and storage bills. This claim was later dismissed by Solomon Ports.
“These containers are exempted from duties because they belong to the government. The problem is that no one from the Ministry of Health or the NRH came to see us about it,
They are consigned to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services,” a Solomon Ports official said.
The containers could contain potentially life-saving drugs and other much-needed medical accessories were still at the wharf as of yesterday.
By Alfred Sasako
End of quote.
If the report I have quoted is factual and true, then as much as the country seems to be making progress in several ways, at least since my last time in the country, then are there individuals charged with responsibilities, as implied in the report highlighted by Mr. Sasako, simply not doing their jobs, or are there hidden facts to be still to be discovered about the claimed delay in clearing and removing the important container of medical consumables from the Point Cruz wharf since last March?