THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) says it is deeply and utterly disappointed at several incidents of rock throwing at NRH vehicles and workers including illegal roadblocks in Honiara during the lockdown period.
“MHMS condemns such outrageous and cowardly acts in the highest possible terms,” the ministry said in a statement.
On Sunday night a health land cruiser was stoned at stone field, Kaibia heights and another at Lungga area.
A third land cruiser was blocked at April Valley, Panatina.
A bus used to support NRH operations sustained two broken windows at No.3 area and St. John Ambulance had to turn back from an actual emergency run around Feraladoa area due to road block.
“Drivers and health workers narrowly escaped injuries from these incidents,” the statement.
“As a result, an emergency case that needed to be brought urgently to NRH emergency could not be reached,” it added.
“Shift of NRH nurses delayed, resulting in delays with attendance to NRH inpatients and timely administration of medications.
“Nurses and health workers were traumatized let alone the costs that will now be incurred for repairs.
“As such, health would like to issue the following statement to those few members of the public whom for unknown reasons decided to stone, block and obstruct health vehicles whilst in operation both for COVID-19 drill lockdown operations and normal continuity of health services.
“What you are doing is putting lives at risk not only of the sick who urgently needed to come to NRH and inpatients but also the hospital medical workers, the very people who have unselfishly made significant sacrifices to their families for your health and lives and that of your families, friends and the country.
“Both medical and public health workers around the world, continue to be applauded, glorified and saluted immensely for their sacrifices, commitment and dedication towards their profession, more especially during this time of the pandemic and even during lockdowns.
“Yet, here in Honiara we witnessed a small minority of ungrateful and disgruntled citizens who seem to have some issues with NRH workers or probably NRH vehicles, which if true is plainly insane, and decided to lodge an attack from the dark.
“There is no common sense in all these. Some of the runs made that night were to drop off NRH nurses who may have cared for your family and friend throughout the day effortlessly, these workers could have also been your mother or father, family member or friend or work colleague.”
The statement said other runs were part of logistical support towards health lockdown operations that is crucial towards sharpening health’s COVID-19 community transmission response, should the virus find its way into the communities.
“Again, this is for the sole purpose of serving you to the best of health’s ability and capacity in the event of an actual COVID-19 community transmission.
“All medical workers in fact swore on oath to preserve your health and in turn your lives, if this is how we are going to treat them, then there is something seriously wrong that needs urgent attention.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Health is making a strong call to all parents and guardians, church and community leaders, elders and chiefs to support the work of health by advocating and raising awareness around the important work of health to community members more especially the youths and young adults.
“Health can do its work in serving the public much better if there is simply an act of respect, regard and support from the public for the work that it is doing.
“Despite these actions, health remains steadfast to continue serving the health needs of our people and our country.”