Thu, 20 July 2017
Last Updated: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 9am
Solomon Star
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Unhappy patient

A PATIENT who recently endures a journey in an attempt to save his health claims that trip almost turns out bad in the hands of a visiting medical team from overseas early this year at Gizo hospital, Western province.

Paul To'ofilu who was diagnosed with hernia in January voiced his dissatisfaction in an interview with the Solomon Star in Auki last week.

He claimed following the surgery by a team of medical doctors from Australia in Gizo he was unable to walk and suffered severe pain for weeks.

As a result he had to return to Honiara and underwent a second operation at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).

Mr To'ofilu said he was admitted at Gizo hospital on the 24th of January after traveling from Malaita to Honiara and then on to Gizo.

“I was supposed to undergo surgery at the National Referral Hospital but due to the high number of dengue cases at NRH I was advised to go to Gizo hospital.”

In late December 2016 a public announcement about the visit of the medical team’s visit.

In mid January a team of 8 Australian surgeons, one local surgeon and four anesthetists visited Gizo hospital on a mission under a not-for-profit organisation called ‘Doctors Assisting In Solomon Islands’ (DAISI).

They spent two weeks screening patients and operated on patients with general, plastics, burns, colorectal, breast, thyroid and otolaryngology which included burns & tendon injury, hernias, lumps, tumours, bowel cancer, thyroid goitre, head and neck or parotid tumours, anal conditions (haemorrhoids, fissure etc) gallbladder and throat conditions.

The service was free of charge and is a combined initiative of the Ministry of Health and DAISI.

And therefore Mr To’ofilu was advised to head down to Gizo.

Mr Tofilu said prior to the operation he was walking properly without any pain.

However after the surgery on the 25th of January, he claimed: “I was unable to walk, the pain was too much for me and the hernia was getting bigger, giving up all hopes for a better life after the surgery.”

He said, because the pain was unbearable he had to use a wheelchair for more than a week from the 25th of January to the 2nd of February.

“When I asked the physicians about the severe pain and when it would stop I was told the pain will go away after some days.

“They only gave me panadol to stop the pain, but it didn’t work for me so I requested if they could allow me to return to Honiara,” he said.

Mr. To'ofilu further claimed after feeling something is not right with the surgery he booked his own flight and left Gizo hospital on a wheelchair with no sign of recovery.

After arriving back in Honiara on the 2nd of February he went straight to NRH where he was admitted.

He received a second surgery on Monday the 6th of February.

“The second surgery which was done at NRH saved my life because that's when they remove blood which finally restored my ability to walk normal again.”

He said the pain had gone which lead to his release from NRH on the 10th of February 2017.

Mr. To’ofilu said he is slowly recovering at his home village in West Kwara’ae, Malaita province awaiting medical review.

He further claimed that others who have received surgeries from the visiting medical team also voiced out their dissatisfaction but were unable to come out publicly.

The Malaita man while recalling on the trip he said it nearly turns out bad for him at Gizo hospital, therefore its time that the responsible authority should ensure they keep a check on any visiting medical teams from overseas to ensure they carry their task responsibly to save patients and not to cause complications.

Attempts to get comments from the responsible authorities last night were unsuccessful.

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