CWM redevelopment master plan launched

March 16, 2024 7:50 am

A master plan for the Colonial War Memorial Hospital has been launched with the long-term goal of the construction of a state-of-the-art national referral hospital.

A funding agreement of $14.7 million has been signed between Fiji and Australia for the CWM infrastructure master plan.

Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad says the plan will be undertaken in three phases over the next several years.

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The first two phases will include an analysis of clinical services plan options to determine the best choice for the hospital’s redevelopment, while the final phase will be the development of a detailed master plan and designs for a new hospital.

Prasad says this is a revolutionary journey to achieve a more modern, resilient, and patient-centered CWM hospital.

“The CWM Redevelopment project will be delivered in a structured way that ensures multilateral partners like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank can join later to provide financing support towards the implementation of the master plan.”

Health Minister Dr. Atonio Lalabalavu says Fiji’s main hospital is grappling with significant and complex challenges.

Dr. Lalabalavu says they include workforce shortages and aging infrastructure, which require a robust, unified, and well-coordinated response to address them.

“For infrastructure, we have initiated a structural assessment of CWM Hospital’s existing infrastructure and the emergency needs of its operating theaters. While we work to plan for the long-term future, we will ensure that our current hospital continues to meet the needs of our population today and for the next 10 years.”

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald, commended the government’s commitment to ensure quality health services for all Fijians through increased health expenditure and a focus on redeveloping infrastructure.

“The Master Plan means Australia and Fiji will work in partnership to comprehensively chart the course toward your new hospital, from assessing clinical service needs to workforce requirements, environmental assessments, and infrastructure planning.”

With the help of Australia’s Doherty Institute, Australia is also supporting the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to boost the CWM executive management team, providing additional leadership, accountability, and capacity at the management level.