24 Feb 2005

Tonga hospital upgrade begins

4:24 pm on 24 February 2005

A foundation laying ceremony has been held today in Tonga marking the beginning of a major upgrade of the country's main hospital at Vaiola.

The upgrading and refurbishment will include two new operating theatres, a laboratory, obstetrics ward and an intensive care unit.

The project is funded with a multi million dollar grant from the Japanese government and is due for completion by march next year.

Today's foundation laying was led by the King, Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, who told the people gathered that it is vital to keep a healthy lifestyle because one's life cannot be replaced like that of other goods.

The government is also planning to build a psychiatric ward and other hospital facilities, due for completion in three years, using loan from the World Bank.