PICTURES of patients lying helplessly on the floor of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara have gone viral on social media.
The scene was not only sad, but also provocative.
NRH is the nation’s top hospital. It’s where all the provinces referred medical cases that they could not dealt with.
It should be our priority. It should have the best of facilities and be able to cater for our health needs.
What appeared in those photos does not reflect well on the NRH as our top health facility.
The photos instead conveyed a failing health service and a facility that was not able to cope with the needs of its population.
They also portrayed a health facility that is overcrowded and neglected.
Patients are lying and treated on the hospital floor due to lack of beds.
This brings us to the question: is health still our priority?
If so, where is the new hospital that the Government has been talking about in the last 10 years?
And why are provincial hospitals ill-equipped to deal with cases that should have been dealt with at that level?
Here’s the thing.
The NRH is still in the same state 20 years ago while our population continues to increase?
So you expect more and more people to visit the same hospital with almost the same facilities that was built some 20 years ago.
It is not surprising then that the NRH has run out of space and beds. This is not rocket science. It is common sense.
Sadly, our elected leaders failed to see this.
They keep on talking about building a new hospital, while they terribly failed to allocate the necessary funding.
Don’t tell the people of this nation we don’t have the funds. Millions of our development funds are being allocated to MPs each with little or no tangible results.
Those millions of dollars could best be used to build another hospital, with more space and beds.
Those millions of dollars could also be best used to improve and upgrade our provincial hospitals to lessen the number of referrals to Honiara.
Our leaders failed to do what they are supposed to do. Now the problem is catching up on us and getting out of control.
The NRH is in a crisis situation. It can no longer cater for our increasing population.
Strangely enough, the silence coming from the Government and responsible health authorities has been deafening.
Why there’s so much silence over a crisis situation? may we ask.
Solomon Islanders need assurance, not the kind of silence we are hearing loudly from the Government at this time.