BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
TWO young Taiwanese doctors have completed a four month stay in the country, providing medical services and specialized skills as general practitioners to the national referral hospital and two Honiara City Council clinics in Honiara.
Dr Li Cheng Yu (Mick) and Dr Liu Kuan Fu (James) were dispatched by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Taiwan government to assist the projects of the Taiwan Health Centre in the country from March 6th to July 19th 2018.
During their first six weeks in the country, both doctors worked at the national referral hospital. Dr Li worked in the surgical department and emergency department while Dr Liu assisted the hospital in orthopedics and internal medicine.
Dr Li also assisted NRH’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Rooney Jagilly in surgery and attended to patients in fast track area and resuscitation in the emergency room.
Meanwhile, Dr Liu worked in orthopedic clinics, assisted in surgery operations, joined the daily ward round and helped take care of patients in terms of internal medicine.
Apart from providing services to the hospital, they also tried to find out the largest disease burdens in the country and what was lacking in terms of techniques and facilities provided for the public.
This led Dr Li and Dr Liu to discuss the above issue with several staff of the hospital of which information they obtained was sent back to the Taiwan Embassy and Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, the hospital responsible for the Taiwan’s Health Centre here in Honiara.
With that information passed on, they hope that it can better help Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital formulate their future plans so that donations made by the Taiwan government can meet the actual and overriding needs of Solomon Islands.
Work at the national referral hospital was followed by services offered to Kukum and Rove clinics in which they spent six weeks, from mid- April to May.
Whilst working at the clinics they found that medical practitioners were lacking so they cooperated with nurses and provided secondary consultations.
Their work in the clinics included review of patients who had complicated or more serious diseases, minor surgery and awareness talks on non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Language for any foreigner is challenging so for Dr Li and Dr Liu, speaking Pijin in earlier days was a bit difficult especially when it came to communicating with their patients and trying to figure out if they were being understood.
The development of a “Medical terms in Pijin” booklet by both doctors eased this situation as patients easily understood them.
They emphasized that the booklet would, in the future greatly assist doctors from Taiwan when communicating with Solomon Islanders.
The last lap of their medical journey, from June 5th to June 14th was when they joined the Taiwan Mobile Medical team and provided services to people in Small Malaita.
Dr Li and Dr Liu expressed that people in Solomon Islands were very friendly and this was what gave the great amount of energy to contribute their services in many aspects to help the people.
It was a great honor for them to serve the country and they hope that they will have the chance to revisit the country in the future.
Both doctors delivered a presentation of their work experience at the Taiwan Health Centre on Tuesday.