27 Sep 2011

Waves lap as close as four metres from main Solomons hospital

4:22 pm on 27 September 2011

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health says the main hospital in Honiara is vulnerable to a tidal wave or tsunami.

The Prime Minister Danny Philip has told the UN General Assembly preparations are underway to build a new facility on higher ground because the current hospital is under threat through rising sea levels.

The Ministry's Dr Carl Susuairara says investigations into what size and functions the new hospital may provide are currently being undertaken while two potential sites for construction are being examined.

Dr Susuairara says they have no scientific data predicting how much time they have till they'll have to move but the encroaching sea is getting close.

"Some areas are only four or five metres away from the wall of the hospital. Should we have a huge tidal wave or tsunami then there is no protection for the existing site. And having lost a lot of ground already we don't think it will be that far into the future before we have to move."

Dr Carl Susuairara who says no costings have been done on the proposed new hospital but the country will need support from donor partners to make the project a reality.

He says they hope to have new hospital in around five years.