Significant changes are expected to be seen at one of the oldest hospitals in the coming months.
Numerous concerns have been raised about the state of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and the dire need for its maintenance.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health had organized a media tour of the hospital where ceilings were seen to be caving in, air condition not functioning, broken windows, and toilets in deplorable state.
Following the tour this week, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary highlighted that they now have a little bit more leeway to engage with the approval process to sort out infrastructure.
Doctor Fong says that given that the mitigation risk plan for procurement has somewhat changed in the new environment, they now also have the ability to engage with other partners beyond the Ministry of Health and beyond government to help them.
He says the Minister for Health, Doctor Atonio Lalabalavu, set up a meeting with the board of visitors to put forward a direction to draw up a template and standard operating procedure to regulate the engagement of partners.
He says the team has come up with about 100 priority areas, and the list has been disbursed to various partners who are assigning themselves to do different works.
He adds that they hope to expand this partnership program to anyone who wants to help but is willing to work in a regulated space.
The Permanent Secretary adds they want to replicate that template to all the subdivision hospitals and a few of their health centres.
“So that in the same vein, we’re working with the community to actually work with quick fixes things that do not involve a major change in infrastructure, things that do not involve that do not decrease the protection of government asset. So we have to maintain that we protect government assets at all times, so we engage other players in the community in such a way that we still maintain protection of government assets, but we improve the asset as it moves forward.”
Doctor Fong says this is a very key element of the minister’s plan moving forward, at least in the short to medium term.