11 May 2023
It was a few weeks ago that Dr. Jimmy Rodgers, the Secretary to the Prime Minister, told us that the medical evacuation plans for sick patients of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) was under review.
Nothing more of the proposed plans have been released.
I concern myself greatly for all those suffering from Rheumatic Heart Disease, including many children and teenagers, including those who are outpatients of the NRH and who are merely given treatment while awaiting possible assessment for a transfer to an offshore hospital where they might get treatment to, including surgery, to improve their quality of life, and their life expectancy in treatment is given early enough.
I know of only one RHD patient of the NRH, a boy, who was flown to an Israeli hospital and came home fully recovered. Then, there was the tragic case of Linta Mabo who, despite having been an outpatient of the NRH with RHD, eventually got financial support for an operation In a Sydney hospital but sadly died within days of making the journey to Australia.
A concerned parent who has son with RHD wrote to me yesterday saying how concerned he was for his son having been an outpatient of the NRH for more than three years and no intervention to see his son go to a hospital offshore for medical treatment for his condition.
I worry too for that young man, and all those with RHD who if properly assessed as being well enough could be sent offshore for treatment.
I read daily of interventions in the Solomon Islands, which were never possible during my time in office, but at the same time I see failings still in the health service needs of the people, those suffering from RHD in particular.
I please request the MHMS or the Government to urgently explain the situation for there are those who have started to say cynically the health needs of the people have taken a back seat to the building of stadiums.