The Ministry of Health and Medical Services wish to clarify and correct recent statements posted on the social media platform “Facebook” on the newly opened Navosa Subdivisional Hospital in Vatumali, in the interior of Navosa.

The opening of the hospital officially signalled the establishment of the Navosa health subdivision, separate from the former Nadroga/Navosa health subdivision, and represents the growth and expansion of Government health services in order to meet the growing health needs of the people of Fiji.

This momentous development took many years to carefully plan, organise and implement and required the input of many stakeholders including the Yasana Navosa, Yasana Nadroga, seven Yavusa in the Province of Navosa, Turaga na Tui Magodro, Tikina of Magodro, Vanua Nabuavatu, iTaukei Lands Trust Board and Yanjian Group (Fiji) Company Limited, the appointed construction company.

The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Health facilitated the planning, designing, funding, environmental assessments, preparation and mitigation, and construction of the hospital.

The result of all this hard work is a new, 20-bed hospital, that the people of Navosa were overjoyed to open on Tuesday, 23 February 2021.

The people can identify with and call this facility their own as it brings the opportunity for better health care and access to high-quality, specialist health care closer to their homes.

It will also reduce the need for the people to expend considerable monetary and emotional resources and time in order to access higher levels of health services in Sigatoka, Lautoka or Suva.

After the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Dr Fong, stated that the Ministry has planned and is now implementing, over the next 3 months, a phased establishment of services at the new hospital to ensure that the hospital builds upon its service scope, processes and ability to handle a growing caseload.

The appropriate workforce and support services are also being established to match the needs of each aspect of hospital services and their target population.The Ministry has been approved FJD 2.6 million worth of biomedical equipment for the Navosa SD Hospital.

The new state-of-the-art digital portable x-ray machine and workstation is one of the twenty-two new digital x-ray machines (DR-Machines) that were recently distributed across the country.

The new dental chair and laboratory blood test machine (FBC) have also been installed and commissioned for permanent use at the hospital.

Additional biomedical equipment is expected to arrive in order to complete the approved list of equipment for the hospital. Equipment in the operating theatre will be further enhanced to facilitate the mobile and fixed surgical capabilities planned for the hospital.

It is also anticipated that as the health services swing into full motion over the next three months, the equipment list will require further modification in order to meet the emerging or new health care service needs that may be identified.

The new beds at the hospital were bought by Government and initially deployed to the new Ba Hospital, in anticipation of the potential massive increase in admission as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020.

However, having achieved COVID-contained status and alleviating the need for stand-by inpatient beds at Ba Hospital, the Ministry has decided to deploy these new beds for immediate use at the new Navosa Sub-Divisional Hospital, where they will be permanently inventoried.

This is not an unusual action, and the Ministry has employed this strategy in the past and will continue to do so in the future, to prudently utilise it’s available resources to their maximum potential in order to meet existing and new service needs.

The Ministry also regularly purchases hospital beds from abroad through local distributors to replace existing ones and to meet the growing needs of patients.

The Ministry currently expects to receive an order in the next few weeks of 914 new hospital beds valued at more than FJD 3.2million.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, the Minister alluded to the fact that when fully operational, the hospital’s 40-strong health care workforce will provide quality outpatient and inpatient primary and secondary health care services for babies, children, pregnant and nursing mothers, older people and those with non-communicable diseases (NCD) as well as stabilisation services for sick patients using the facility’s investigative and treatment capabilities before they are transferred to a higher-level health care facility.

The newly built and specially lighted helipad will allow for the urgent transfer by air of very sick patients from the hospital, as well as provide the capacity to fly in emergency surgical or medical teams for life-saving treatment at the hospital.

The new sub-divisional hospital will deliver health services according to the Ministry’s newly implemented and re-modelled health services delivery framework that will make health service COVID safe and responsive to health emergencies and climate disasters.

The Ministry is pleased that the new hospital has been opened by the Prime Minister and joins the people of Navosa in celebrating the realisation of this much awaited dream.

It also looks forward to working together with the people of Navosa in order to improve the health status of their population.

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