29 Mar 2019

Solomons' main hospital in emergency mode as staff leave to vote

1:29 pm on 29 March 2019

The main hospital in Solomon Islands has been forced into emergency mode because many staff are leaving for their home provinces to participate in the election next week.

A notice on the door of the Solomon Islands Hospital

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

There is no out of constituency voting in Solomon Islands and early polling last week was only made available to police and electoral staff.

An internal memorandum displayed publicly in triage says the hospital is scaling down its operations to emergency mode from 28 March and will not resume normal services until 8 April.

The notice goes on to say there will be no elective surgeries performed during this time and all referral clinics will be closed.

The chief electoral officer Mose Saitala said they were looking at solutions for future elections.

"If you look at the new Electoral Act there is one area that we have yet to activate. And that is the area where we might be able to prescribe by regulations other classes of people that may qualify for pre-polling or even to other means of polling.

"In other words we can actually try and create it by law that we have a mobile polling station."

Solomon Islands Hospital

Solomon Islands Hospital Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

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