New Rotuma hospital to reduce reliance on costly evacuation

February 8, 2024 12:28 pm

[Source: Supplied]

The Ministry of Health will now be able to save an average of $176,000 annually following the opening of the new Rotuma Sub-divisional Hospital.

Minister Doctor Atonio Lalabalavu says from 2019 to 2023, 300 cases were referred from Rotuma to the CWM Hospital in Suva for further investigations and treatment.

He says of these, 44 cases required emergency medical evacuation from Rotuma at a total cost of $880,000.

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[Source: Supplied]

The Health Minister says the new hospital facility with the improved capability to investigate and treat patients is anticipated to reduce this load significantly for the Ministry.

“As the only public health facility on the island, the new hospital will now boast a range of services that will be of higher standard than what existed before. The new cyclone-proof hospital now is now bigger with eleven admission beds compared with only four beds in the older hospital. It now has designated wards for men, women, children, and isolation ward.”

The new hospital, built at a cost of $10.3 million has replaced the old Rotuma Rural Hospital at the same site.

Doctor Lalabalavu says the old hospital had served the people well over the years and was at high risk of catastrophic damage if a severe climatic event struck the island.

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He adds there were no backup power generator for 24hours electricity service, and no mortuary services.

The new Rotuma hospital will serve 1899 people in the 22 villages.

A piece of new biomedical equipment has also been purchased and installed at the hospital.

In addition, the Ministry of Health has boosted the hospital’s staff establishment from the current 37 to 50, with new positions such as medical laboratory scientist, ward assistant, dental therapist, health inspector, cleaner, cook, and handyman added to workforce for the new hospital.

Doctor Lalabalavu says some of these new positions are now in the hospital while others will be recruited in the weeks ahead.