BY JARED KOLI
PATIENTS, health workers and supporters have yesterday commenced inking signatories to petition Prime Minister to call for a Commission of Enquiry (COE) into the medical and health service provided at the hospital.
Launched at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) yesterday afternoon, Ishmael Nori, a patient at the NRH and civil society advocator was backed by Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) Chairman Wilfred Luiramo.
The move which receives wide support from the Prime Minister himself, hospital executives, the Young Women in Parliament Group (YWPG) and the public – began at the NRH surgical ward.
It hopes to collect signatures from patients in all wards before submission to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr Nori, who initiated the call, said nurses who believe and support this cause can also sign the petition forms.
“After this we will compile all the signatures and see where we can go from here to present this to the Prime Minister. We are looking at presenting the signatures to the prime minister through a Member of Parliament (MP) who will act as our Ambassador.
“We want to see the recommendations set in the 2009 and 2015 Special Select Committee report into the Quality of Medical Services provided at NRH fully implemented, more on the development aspects of NRH,” Nori added.
Nori earlier told Island Sun that people and ordinary citizens of this country deserve a St Vincent-like quality hospital service provided at the NRH.
“I have observed that for many people, there is nothing much to do for them here, if we can have services that are accessed by our Ministers or Members of Parliament at St Vincent hospital here during the early stages of their sick, that could prevent deaths and save lives here,” he adds.
Nori also questions how the government prioritises health workers, doctors, nurses and technical staff on specialised trainings.
“What we want the government to do is to proritise to save lives same as the quality of service at its sister hospital, St Vincent hospital in Sydney, Australia,” Nori said.
He said the petition is for people who believe that this is a good cause, all for the sake of improving quality of service in the hospital, such as improved state of the art medical facilities and so forth.
“How can we afford this, knowing our needs, identifying our medical needs is what we want, and at the same time identify specialise training needs for medical workers to serve our people.
“Besides hospital relocation, the government must look at this as a national project,” Nori said.
It was in April 2009 that Parliament resolved on a motion to appoint a Special Select Committee to inquire into the quality of medical services provided at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
Since then it is almost ten years since inquiries were made into the quality of medical services. Only a few of the recommendations had been achieved and quality of medical services at the NRH is still poor.
Nori says he fully supports the call for the national government to carry out work on the recommendations adding that NRH needs a total restructuring and needs to have in place a better commanding and communication system between the hospital authorities.
“How it seems, each hospital departments is running at their own, disconnected from other departments. Examples if wards run out of drugs on a weekend, there is nothing much they can do to get drugs from the pharmacy but to wait till Monday.”
Nori said that all departments of the hospital should be on call 24/7 to provide much needed support services to the wards.
“I am sure there must be such arrangement in place but it seems as if it is not working. Someone is not doing his or her job.”
At the same time he said full autonomy should be given to the National Referral Hospital.
“Just to purchase a new tap to replace a leaked one will have to wait for the Health Ministry,” says Nori.
Government should work on all the recommendations instead of a few as had been the case now, he said.