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Asbestos at Lautoka Hospital delays fire damage repairs

January 18, 2018 7:14 pm

Asbestos discovered at the Lautoka Hospital has hindered repair work on the fire-damaged operating theatres and X-Ray unit.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Philip Davis says it’s unclear how much asbestos is in the building.

“We’ve not been able to start the repairs yet because there are issues there particularly regarding asbestos so obviously looking after the interest of our workforce and we need to investigate and address the asbestos issue before we can address the repairs."

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Davis says they’re working to assess how much asbestos there is and how it can be safely cleared and contained before any other work continues.

Meanwhile, Davis adds some services have been moved off the premises.

“We’ve got various arrangements in place for X-rays, we have a mobile unit, we’ve also moved another unit across from Suva and we’ve got an arrangement with a local private provider to undertake any extra x-rays that were unable to do using those mobile units. In terms of the operating theatres, there are two other operating theatres that are still in use at Lautoka. And we’re also using, putting extra demands on the OT down in Nadi so that’s enabling us to keep on top of the routine.”

Davies adds given the limitations, Lautoka Hospital will also be unable to accommodate any visiting overseas specialist teams.

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