Dear Editor – Today is recognized as World Health Day and a timely occasion to say Thank You!
We often overlook the dedication and tireless work of our doctors, nurses, aid workers, first aid volunteers and all those who have, and continue, to aid our hospitals, clinics, eye clinics and dental clinics.
It is my belief that we do not value enough the work of our doctors, nurses and health care workers and they should be acknowledged and cherished for their devotion to their calling in caring for our sick.
In aiding the Solomon Islands health care system our thanks must go to the volunteer medical surgeons, specialists and eye specialists who regular fly in to undertake surgical operations and perform eye treatments at the National Referral Hospital.
Thanks are due, too, in no small measure to the Australian, New Zealand, Japanese, Taiwanese and Cuban Governments, to Rotary International, the Methodist Churches in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Pacific Leprosy Foundation, the Gerald Hoult Trust, Shalom College, Australia, St Vincent’s Hospital and to the Solomon Islands and Provincial Governments.
Many individuals should also be acknowledged for their kindness in visiting the sick in hospital and for donating wheel chairs television sets and other equipment to the National Referral Hospital.
In paying out tributes today let us not overlook the important role doctors, nurses and care staff play in the health care of our citizens and in the vital aspects of national development.
Prior to World Health Day, the Country Director of World Vision in the Solomon Islands, James Ginting, made a statement saying that nurse aid posts and rural health clinics throughout the Solomon Islands lack essential equipment and medicine to save lives of mothers and their children.
Mr Ginting further stressed that the issue is of great concern to Solomon Islands as pregnant mothers and children always need medical assistance from aid posts and clinics.
It is very much hoped the Solomon Islands Government will do everything possible, as a matter of urgency to address the concerns so clearly identified by Mr Ginting.
If one looks at the targeted sector programs identified in the recently unveiled 2015 Budget it does seem the new Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCC) has not overlooked the health care sector with a projected policy framework in the pipe line to relocate the National Referral Hospital and to rebuild some of the provincial hospitals.
In terms of cost allocations, the Budget provides $65 million for rural road infrastructure to enable better access to social facilities, including health care centres, $14.0 million additional funding to improve hospital services, $1.0 million additional funding to St Vincent’s Hospital to help improve the health treatment of Solomon Islanders and $11.2 million added funding for 36 returning Cuban doctors and graduating nurses.
In concluding this note of appreciation it is appropriate to extend a very special thank you to an Australian doctor who took up the challenge of his father-in- law to build a hospital for the Namuga community in East Makira.
This is an extract of what I had to say recently on the very generous efforts of the particular doctor.
‘Dr Chris Miller is a former Health Director in Choiseul Province and is married to a woman from Namuga, East Makira.
His father-in-law asked him to start a hospital that would offer comprehensive health services to the people of the province.
The hospital is located at Namuga and when completed will serve people from Wainoni to Haununu.
“The Makira Ulawa provincial government has also injected funds into the project.”
When completed, if not already, the hospital will include an inpatient delivery suite theatre, an emergency department, an anti-natal clinic, diabetic, eye clinic and a child health clinic.
So to all our dedicated doctors, nurses, health care workers, external donors, volunteer surgeons and consultants, medical trainers and to Dr Chris Miller, a big expression of our collective thanks on World National Health Day.
Former police commissioner