EVIDENCE of the government’s financial woes is now hitting hard on services at the country’s main hospital – the National Referral Hospital (NRH)- with patients now eating only dry buns for breakfast.
According to a source at the National Referral Hospital (NRH), for the first time, patients had breakfast without a cup of tea.
The source said the government’s mounting bill with one of the hospital’s breakfast supplier had forced the supplier to stop supplying the hospital recently.
One of the hospital’s suppliers, Bulkshop, has confirmed that the government owed them since 2020.
“The SIG owed us SBD$179,457.78; this is some of the outstanding for 2020 and 2022, and it needs to be fixed first before we can continue with our delivery,” Bulkshop said.
According to unconfirmed reports, the national government also owed BOC around $8 million.
Reports said $3million was owed to BOC prior to COVID-19 and the remaining $5million during the COVID-19 period.
A former Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Andrew Muaki said given the debts accumulated during the Covid-19 period, one will wonder where all the funding for COVID-19 went if COVID-19 related hospital expenses remain unpaid to service providers who are struggling to stay afloat during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whilst NRH patients go without breakfast the situation up in Parliament is quite bright and rosy.
“The nation’s 50 elected leaders are enjoying some delicious meal cooked up by parliamentary staff and paid for by Solomon Islands tax payers.
“It seems gas supplies to ensure the 50 elected leaders are fed hot and delicious breakfast in order to sleep and snooze in Parliament takes priority over loved ones trying to stay alive in the government-owned and operated NRH.
“Indeed, Solomon Islands have become a nation of two groups of people: the privilege living at the expense of the people and the ordinary Solomon Islanders trying to stay alive due to the decision of the few privileged individuals,” he said.
He said it is no wonder donors such as Australia have increased its aid assistance to Solomon Islands because it feels sorry for the ordinary Solomon Islanders who are dying at the hands of a few privileged individuals.
By FOLLET JOHN