11 Jan 2018

Calls for increased govt support for provincial Solomons' hospital

3:28 pm on 11 January 2018

The Solomon Islands government is being urged to increase its support for a struggling hospital at Munda in the Western Province.

Empty hospital bed, generic

Photo: 123RF

The 68 bed Helena Goldie hospital has one local doctor and two volunteer doctors from Switzerland who also support 15 clinics serving a community of more than 26,000 people spread across dozens of scattered islands.

A former Solomon Islands police commissioner Frank Short, who has been actively working to help facilitate charitable medical aid support to the country, said the hospital recently lost several of its traditional donors, placing it in a precarious financial situation with not enough funds to cover its recurrent budget.

Mr Short said it also had a shortage of Registered Nurses with no money for recruiting or housing more.

He says since 2014 the provincial health ministry had also cut its support to the hospital by 33 percent and there has been no increase to the annual grant from the national government.

Mr Short said the hospital continues to run at full capacity but needs more funding to pay staff wages and its electricity and telephone bills.

He said the national government should increase its budgetary support for the hospital.

Established in 1903 by Methodist missionaries the Helena Goldie Hospital is now run by the United Church in partnership with the Western Provincial Health Service.