Congratulations Health Minister
Dewan Chand, Namadi Heights
I write to warmly congratulate the Minister for Health, Jone Usamate for his no nonsense attitude towards the provision of health services at our hospitals and health centers. He is simply not prepared to accept substandard performance from the medical staff and the hospital administrators.
It is for this reason he has decided to visit hospitals and health centres and see in person the problems which exist there. This should help to eradicate a number of problems which exist because of sheer lackadaisical (lacking enthusiasm and determination) attitude and negligence of administrators. In April this year, my daughter was accidently burnt and I took her to Nuffield Clinic, Tamavua, which is not designed to cater for severe burns. Hence she was transferred to Colonial War Memorial Hospital. For two days she spent time in the Namosi-Tailevu Ward. I was horrified to see the condition of the ward. The women’s toilet was filthy and had no lights. The hand basin near the bed displayed a coloured chart out-lining six steps to washing hands. Alas, there was no soap, no hand towel and the hand basin looked very ancient. A dilapidated liquid soap dispenser had no soap, a sad state of affairs for the largest hospital in our country.
She was eventually transferred to the Burns Unit, an ultra modern addition to the hospital. Here the facilities are excellent and the staff very efficient and courteous, with a few exceptions. The burns patients are kept far apart to prevent infection and the visiting hours were strictly adhered to. However, the presence of flies was an annoying factor. Maybe fly-catchers should be installed. The waiting room for relatives outside the operation theatres is a very uncomfortable place. Poor cross ventilation and lack of fan and proper toilet facilities for men is traumatic. Men were forced to use the women’s toilets, which too was not in a good condition. Out of three only one was functional. This is simply an unacceptable condition. For some odd reason, the hospital administration switches off exterior lights, soon after the visiting hours, covering the car park. One night after visiting my daughter I was going towards my car in the dark and had a fall in the Ambulance Bay because there was no ramp to the footpath. Lucky for me at the age of 72, I did not break any bones. However, I had to undergo an xray examination because of the bruises and muscular pains which persisted for weeks.
In my view, the exterior lights should be left on for safety and security reasons.
Visitors to the hospital can easily be robbed in the dark. During heavy rains the New Wing leaks in a number of places, the most significant one being the one right in front of the emergency reception desk. A huge plastic basin sits there on a rainy day. I am sure this can be easily fixed.
I appeal to all associated with our hospitals and health centres to take pride in their work and make it welcoming and comfortable for all those who use its services.