Radio New Zealand presented a news bulletin this morning, 24 May 2018, which highlighted the situation at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara and photographs accompanying the report showed many hospital patients sleeping on the floor in the corridors and on the floor in other rooms due, it claimed, to an acute shortage of beds.
I was deeply shocked to see those pictures and to learn of the critical shortage of beds, images reminiscent of scenes I had first witnessed more than 50 years ago when working as a young policeman in Africa.
With the very kind support of the Solomon Forest Association (SFA) 100 hospital beds will be shipped from Wellington by my partner charity, Take My Hands, in June.
The critical shortage of hospital beds could have been overcome with help from New Zealand if only the second stage payment of NZ12,500 had been paid in relation to the two-phase payment requirements set out in the MOU signed between the MOHMS/TMH and myself as Coordinator of the aid support.
When the first payment was made several containers of medical equipment and medical supplies reached the NRH but shipments ceased once the second payment went unpaid.
It has also to be said 48 hospital beds and new mattresses were delivered to the NRH by TMH after the SFA met an appeal I had raised for help in shipping a 40 ft container about 2 years ago.
TMH is able to acquire hospital beds in extremely good condition from hospitals throughout New Zealand when the hospital authorities there seek to make administrative changes.
I would, please, urge, the MOHMS/NRH to make payment of the outstanding second phase payment on the MOH so that I can quickly supplement the already provisioned 100 hospital beds for early shipment to Honiara.
The cost savings to the MOHMS are huge in acquiring much needed fully serviceable hospital equipment and supplies from TMH compared to having to buy new equipment.