Health centre under construction set to boost Solomons’ medical services: China embassy


China has said its funded health centre being built on the east wing of the national referral hospital will raise the level of medical services in Solomon Islands.

Cai Weiming, the Chinese ambassador to Solomon Islands says Chinese Government funded health centre will be completed on time by raising the level of the medical services in the country to a new height offering higher quality services for the people of Solomon Islands.

With just three months after the construction phase kicked off in December last year, Jiangsu Jiangdu Construction Group, the contractor for the project has confirmed that the project is well ahead of its 16-month scheduled timeline. 

Caretaker Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana together with Chinese Ambassador to Solomon Islands His Excellency Cai Weiming and senior officials within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) visited the site of construction yesterday to witness the ongoing progress of the work.

Dubbed as the Comprehensive Medical Centre, the Chinese Government funded $90 million-dollar state-of-the-art project is set to complete by 2025.

Caretaker Minister Togamana expressed pleasure to witness the project’s initial phase was well ahead of time and keen to see it completed.

“I am indeed very delighted take time this morning to witness the project’s development and I am optimistic that the contractor would be able to meet the deadline for completion of the hospital within the timeline expected.” Togamana said.

Local media and senior officials from the MHMS joined Minister Togamana and Ambassador Cai Weiming on a site visit on the ground floor and around the site to witness the current work progress so far on the National Referral Hospital’s Comprehensive Medical Center project.

Speaking to local Journalist, Chief Engineer of the project site Mr. Liang confirmed that foundation work, footing and framework structure for the first floor had already been completed.

Mr. Togamana said the health center will soon become the ‘NCD Hospital’ as it will offer specialized medical services to patients with heart diseases, kidney patients, those with urology issues and those that needed rehabilitation including acupuncture.

“Let me once again thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China for partnering with us in undertaking this important and what would be a magnificent building of the Ministry of Health, the Government of Solomon Islands and the people of Solomon Islands. We are extremely proud of the development and progress and what we have all achieved together to date.

“Despite the challenges and difficulties in timely execution of electricity and water connectivity, as well as extreme weather conditions encountered in the first quarter of the year, the ongoing commitment and the unwavering support of all of us and at all levels and the commitment demonstrated to date on this project is commendable,” the caretaker Health Minister Dr Togamana said.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy said, this project will accommodate cardiology, nephrology, urology, traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture clinics and wards, along with supporting medical rooms equipped with necessary equipment and furniture. It will provide 40 beds, with an additional 10-15 emergency beds (furniture).

“After three months of continuous work day and night, we have completed all the foundation and footing works as well as the first floor’s framework structure. The next step is going to be the structural construction of the second floor. We will deliver the project on time and in high quality.

“We express our gratitude to the Ministry of Health and the NRH for their support and assistance in coordinating with the Solomon Power to resolve electricity and site-related issues. The hospital also aided in setting up site fences.

Chinese Ambassador Cai Weiming, said the facility is another testament of China’s commitment to aid Solomon Islands.

“The facility is another testament of China’s commitment to aid Solomon Islands in good faith in developing health infrastructures. I am sure the project will be accomplished in time and raise the medical service of Solomon Islands to a new level offering higher quality medical services for the people of Solomon Islands.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Solomon Islands, cooperation in the health sector has gone a long way, bringing tangible benefits for ordinary people of Solomon Islands. China regards Solomon Islands as a good friend, brother and partner. We are sure that the health and medical cooperation will continue to flourish and enhance our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” said Ambassador Weiming.

The CEO of the National Referral Hospital Dr George Malefoasi says preparations are underway on how the new facility will be managed.

“An interim taskforce of clinical specialists and senior health workers along with the technical advice from the China Medical Team have started to discuss the workforce composition of specialists to run the new NCD subspecialist center. It is anticipated that there will be subspecialist training with the Chinese counterparts, the details are being finalized. There will also be capacity development in building skills and knowledge on the use of the modern diagnostics and treatment medical technology that comes with this center, “said Dr Malefoasi.

Meanwhile, a similar site visit by key stakeholders including HCC, SIEA, and SIWA will be held in the coming week.

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