BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
GROUND work on the site to relocate the National Referral Hospital (Gilbert camp) to is progressing with current work on Geo-Tech Survey.
Dr George Malefoasi, chief executive officer for National Referral Hospital, confirmed this to journalists this week during the OPMC press conference at the Mendana Hotel.
“At the moment site clearance and preparations is still progressing. Geo-Tech survey is progressing well, soon bomb clearance will happen on that propose site at Gilbert camp and partial fencing is also done,” he said.
Malefoasi said he feels it might take like 10 years because there will be reviews done on the site service plans, more consultations and also it will take a bit more partnership where government will need to partner well with other stakeholders.
He said the work is at the preliminary stage.
Malefoasi also clarified the NRH background.
He said the proposed location begin in 2015 with the establishment of a taskforce; and in 2018 ADB was engaged to support this work.
“The business case was approved on March 2020 and it has three parts.
“Phase one involve improvement of current hospital, second phase there is a development plan for two centres West and East into a urban health care centre and Phase three is the relocation of NRH.
“By looking at March 2020 up until now is a pandemic time and a lot of emphasises were put towards the pandemic response effort when becoming community transmission,” he said.
However, he said last year we have a new committee that was set within the Ministry of Health, NRH and stakeholders.
“Now changes have happened, demand for health care services happened, epidemiologists of diseases changes and we may look at continuing with the current level of services at NRH.”
Attorney General John Muria Junior adds there is pending court case also on the gilbert camp land where the NRH will be relocated.
“But I thanked the parties for their understanding to allow government and NRH to continue their work on the relocation site.
“So, that matter is still before the court but that doesn’t stop NRH to do work on the site but parties have understanding and so that is why the work is still progressing at the moment,” Muria said.