BY BEN BILUA
PREMIER of Western Province says the strategy of having one National Referral Hospital (NRH) has failed the people of this country.
Christian Burley Mesepitu said having one national referral hospital is not only expensive, but also inadequate to provide needed health and medical services to sick patients.
He said it is time for the national government to do away with the whole idea of a NRH strategy and focus on decentralizing health and medical referral hospitals in provincial headquarters.
“Our current situation speaks volume of the failure of this strategy. Our only referral hospital has been overstretched and overwhelmed by COVID-19. This indicates that we should overhaul the NRH legacy and decentralize into Provincial Referral Hospital (PRH) strategy based on provincial headquarters,” Mesepitu said.
He stressed that some provinces are willing to give up their land and resources to build larger hospitals but cannot do so due to lack of political will.
Mesepitu said most people are living in rural areas and that it is important to bring hospitals closer to the people.
He said Western Province always stand ready to welcome possibility of upgrading Gizo Hospital to fight the current COVID-19 outbreak.
“Gizo hospital is among the best facility in the country and the national government should now re-prioritize its strategies and upgrade the Gizo Hospital COVID-19 response capabilities to compliment the National Referral Hospital (NRH) deficiencies,” Mesepitu said.
He reiterated that anti COVID-19 contingency planning for this nation should refocus on decentralizing containment measures.