By Mike Puia
LOCAL patient who voluntarily left the National Referral Hospital (NRH) described the country’s national hospital in Honiara as a ‘death row’.
Civil society advocator, Ismael Nori, has been in admission at the NRH for months.
Nori decided to discharge himself from the hospital saying it is of no use being in admission at the NRH.
In an interview with Island Sun, Nori said NRH is a concrete of blue blocks with very sick citizens seeking medical help from hard working but ill resourced doctors and nurses.
He said people are dying at the NRH’s medical ward due to lack of resources.
Nori made these comments in light of the Parliamentary Entitlement Commission’s move to increase the terminal grant to the 50 Members of Parliament.
He said he is also concerned about the PEC award therefore wanted to share with leaders the real situation at the NRH.
“Am sure the terminal grant amount was a recommendation from MPs and I want to challenge their conscience. I want the people to see how our leaders are treating themselves with more money whilst we are in dire need of a better health service,” Nori said.
He said the government and our leaders should reconsider accepting a SBD$400,000 terminal grant to be paid to MPs.
“Our hospital needs more money. One reason why our hospital don’t have right equipment is because the government is not putting enough money in the hospital or medical budget,” Nori said.
He said it appears the government is filling its own pocket when the country needs money for its health services, education, infrastructure and so forth.
Nori appealed to the Prime Minister, Rick Hou, to advice his Finance Minister, who is a member of PEC, to recommend to PEC against any increase.
Or, he said, the best thing to do is for the Prime Minister to fire members of the current PEC.
Nori said elections are coming up and this is the opportunity for voters to make right decision by electing leaders who care about the country’s essential services like health.
“Our vote matters. When we vote wrong people, we are denied of better services,” Nori said.
He said issues ordinary people in the country are facing are real and MPs ignoring these issues for their own good is real therefore this is the moment for voters to make a change.
“If we continue to vote selfish leaders who only increase their benefits further, our hospitals and schools will continue to run down”
“Do we have to wait until our own sons or daughters die at the NRH of illness that can be treated if we have the right machines and drugs before we realise the need for an improved NRH?” Nori said.
He said given the situation at the NRH and the fact MPs are not fully resourcing the NRH people too must keep healthy.
Upon his return home, Nori wrote a personal letter to the Prime Minister which was delivered at the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet last week. The letter was posted in various social media platforms.
In the letter, he used his experience at the NRH to challenge the government’s decision to increase MPs terminal grants’.
Nori, who organized a petition where he collected signatures from sick patients at the NRH early this year, has held a radio talkback show where he also talks about the issue at the NRH last week.
According to Nori, the petition was not submitted to the Prime Minister since his return from Japan as he (PM) had made an assurance that his government will get a scanner for the NRH from Japan.
It is clear, the assurance failed to come through as the current government will end its term in office next month.