HEALTH minister Dr Tautai Angikimua Kaitu’u says the operating theatres at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) that were closed since last December will reopen on Monday.
Dr Kaitu’u disclosed this in the facebook page of Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII).
“I was briefed by the permanent secretary and CEO of the hospital on the situation of the closure of the two operating theatres,” he said in his facebook post.
“Renovation work is underway and by Monday next week (February 15), the operating theatres should be in operation,” Dr Kaitu’u added.
The minister was responding to calls by FSII’s chief executive officer Benjamin Afuga for the government to sack the ministry’s infrastructure adviser Michael Green.
Mr Green last Saturday advised workers of Tropic Glass Aluminium (TGA), who offered their service for free, to halt renovating the theatres.
This is because the work is “highly technical”.
The health ministry has since come out to defend the action taken by Mr Green (see separate report today).
Mr Afuga has maintained Mr Green should advice the willing heart, not to stop the renovation work.
“I’m sure TGA and its managers will understand the technical explanations and requirements,” he said.
“What we often read and saw in the past is that the NRH has been depending on voluntary hands, as though there is no health budget allocation for the health ministry.
“Where is the health budget? Mr Afuga questioned.
He said he understands the ministry should have budget allocations for all repair and maintenance work at the NRH, therefore should not depend on good Samaritans all the time.
“But if money is the problem for MHMS, then it must establish good relationship with companies and individuals like TGA because you definitely need them.”
He insisted Mr Green acted wrongly by stopping the job.
He questioned why the permanent secretary and the adviser allow the operating theatres to deteriorate to a non-functional state.
Mr Afuga said Mr Green should have used the opportunity to negotiate for another infrastructure development, for example construct a new dental clinic.
“Construction of a new dental clinic is urgently needed now.
“The old dental clinic has been pulled down in 2012 due to white ants and was never replaced by the ministry till this day.”
By LESLEY SANGA