21 November 2022
Today. Monday. I was pleased to write and say a team of Chinese experts are in Honiara discussing with officials of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) the initial plans for the construction of a compressive medical centre to be located adjacent to the existing NHH complex.
The news is appreciated at a time when the NRH, the single referral facility in the country is battling to cope with the number of patient referrals, the high incidences of NCD-linked diseases, including diabetes, heart, liver and cancer concerns and the reported shortages of doctors and nurses, given the countries high birth rate and a total population now said to exceed 700, 000.
When the new medical centre is built, I believe if it is to be truly comprehensive then there must be incorporated screening facilities and a new rehabilitation centre to ensure artificial limbs, or for a better word, prosthetics, are custom fitted to the hundreds of former NRH patients still waiting for walking aids, other than crutches.
So, too, I believe there must be consideration given in the proposed medical centre to patients that have rheumatic heart disease and rheumatic hear fever, It may be necessary to recruit specialist cardiologists to oversee RHD patients and facilitate their treatment, including heart valve surgery if found desirable. This might require the medical centre to have operation theatres as part of the building.
With the high prevalence of NCD illnesses and fatalities arising from NCDs I also consider the proposed medical centre must incorporate a unit or department where staff give advice on preventative measures to educate the people on diet, exercise and lifestyle habits, such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption,
Preventative controls such as screening, which I have often mentioned in my letters, are vital and it would be a less than comprehensive medical centre if screening and testing facilities, properly equipped and staffed are not included in the design planning and completed medical centre complex.