Opening of the new Accident and Emergency Department of the Sigatoka Hospital

PEOPLE of Nadroga and Navosa now have access to state-of-the-art facilities at the accident and emergency unit at Koromumu Hospital in Sigatoka.

The unit, designed to improve patient comfort and guarantee the efficient provision of emergency services, was built with funds from the Coral Coast chapter of the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association.

Speaker of the House of Representative , Pita Nacuva with Robert Wade at the launching of the appeal

Speaker of the House of Representative , Pita Nacuva with Robert Wade at the launching of the appeal

The complex cost $300,000 and raised the investment by hoteliers into the hospital to more than $1.2million.

Apart from the emergency unit, the Coral Coast chapter also relocated the pharmacy, built a new eye unit, dental clinic, installed a back-up generator and upgraded the staff quarters.

Interim Health Minister Dr Jiko Luveni commended the work.

She said the new facility would not only supply a high level of health care for more than 30,000 people in the provision but also the growing tourist population in the area.

Dr Luveni said the chapter’s most ambitious project would create a proper working environment for the nurses, doctors and other hospital employese.

“The original emergency unit in the hospital was an add-on and not designed for the purpose. The staff had to work to the best of their ability with limited facility. The locals have found it difficult when injury or sudden illness happened because of the cramped conditions and little privacy,” she said.

The Louvatu Emergency Unit, is dedicated to the landowning unit on whose land the hospital is located, has two each of consulting and rooms, a treatment room, a plaster room, sluice room, two private rooms, a four-bed holding room, nurses’ station, pharmacy and waiting room.

Coral Coast chapter chairman Robert Wade said the actual planning for the unit took more than eight years.

Mr Wade said while they were determined to build the new unit, they had to make several upgrading work and secure funding before work began.

He said the emergency unit would not have been realised without the support of the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort, Outrigger on the Lagoon, the Naviti, Warwick Hotel and Hideaway Resort..

FIHTA’S Coral Coast Chapter chairman, Robert Wade said the theme of the appeal was “In order to provide better first aid, we need your aid first.”

Mr Wade said they were not trying to transform Sigatoka Hospital into one of the country’s major facilities but were just trying to improve its capabilities with regards to it being the first point of contact for any patient involved in accidents or other medical emergencies between Navua and Sigatoka.

 Since 1998, the Coral Coast Chapter of FIHTA had spent more than $639,000 in assistance to the hospital and communities.

“We want to provide better facilities for the people of Nadroga/Navosa but first we will need their help.”

“This is a very important project because not only the tourists but everyone especially those in Nadroga and Navosa will benefit.”

“We have already collected about $300,000 from donations handed to our organisation by tourists and we also have been given verbal commitment by the Ministry of Health for $250, 000,” he said. “This will be the wisest investment for Government because from an input of $250,000, they will receive a state of the art accident and emergency facility.”

 This unit has been the result of small donations made by guests to Resorts along the Coral Coast as well as specific donations from residents and business houses in the area. These specific donations are listed on the donors board in the waiting area.

Actual planning for this department has been on going for over eight years as we set about to update the Hospital to allow for this major upgrade, as well as build up sufficient funds to carryout the work.

Over the eight years we have relocated the Pharmacy Department, built a new unit to allow for eye checks and cataract and laser surgery and also built a new dental clinic as well as a standby generator; upgrading to staff quarters and kiosk.

The facility that we see today is a state of the art unit that will allow all residents and traveling public access to facilities that will allow staff to carryout their duties in an efficient and prompt manner. We have delivered a unit that will be a pleasure to work in and that will have a work flow that will allow for the efficient provision of emergency services.

The rearrangement of facilities and units will now also allow Dr Shah to relocate various departments to new locations around the hospital to make things even more efficient and better able to service the local community.

FIHTA’S Coral Coast Chapter have paid in excess of $1,200,000 on this unit and other units mentioned below, over to the Ministry of Health; the Sigatoka Hospital urgently needs new driveways and turning areas for cars and ambulances. That is our next aim!

FIHTA’S Coral Coast Chapter would like to give special thanks to the Management and guests of Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa; Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort and Spa; The Naviti Resort and Spa; The Warwick Resort and Spa and of course Hideaway Resort. Without the support of the Management of these Resorts none of our projects would have been possible.

We would also like to single out Annie Wade of Hideaway Resort, who has been a great driving force behind getting this A&E unit to where it is today. Annie has also been able assisted by Coral Kennedy as we turned an idea into reality.

Of course we would have not achieved anything without the input from the medical and nursing staff of the Sigatoka Hospital (both current and previous staff) and we thank them for their guidance and suggestions.

Thanks also to Ashok and all the staff of Coral Coast Builders who have turned our plans and suggestions into the bricks and mortar that you see before you today.

A large number of projects have been made possible by our Health and Safety fund and they have included:

  • An air conditioned two bed unit with en suite extension to the Korolevu health Centre to allow patients to have an area for minor procedures or to wait while an ambulance comes to transport them to a hospital for further treatment.
  • A building shared by the Fiji police and the Saint Johns Ambulance Service at Korolevu to allow staff quarters and a parking area for an ambulance; when available.
  • Relocation of the pharmacy department at the Sigatoka Hospital to a new building with an extra large storeroom.
  • Relocation of the dental clinic at the Sigatoka Hospital to a new building.
  • Renovation and extension of an existing house on the grounds of the Sigatoka Hospital used for accommodation of medical staff.
  • Supply of an auto start standby generator for the Sigatoka Hospital to allow full operation of the hospital during times of power failure.
  • Financial assistance to the Sigatoka Crisis Centre.
  • Supply of transport to the Community Nurses to ensure delivery of inoculations and carrying out of health checks for school children in the upper reaches of the Sigatoka Valley.
  • Financial assistance to the Filariasis campaign.
  • Financial assistance to the dengue mosquito control programme.
  • Building of an air conditioned two room Critical care unit with en suites (four beds) at the Sigatoka Hospital.
  • Building of a new Eye Clinic at the Sigatoka Hospital to enable laser and cataract eye surgery.
  • Two police vehicles, one for the Tourist Police unit and the other for the Sigatoka Police.
  • Equipment, including two way radios, fax and photocopier for the Tourist Police Unit at Korotogo.
  • Assistance with the building of a repeater station on Vatulele to enable police communication throughout the Coral Coast.
  • Donation to Fiji Red Cross for cyclone relief in Labasa.
  • Building of the new Police Post at Cuvu, which was recently handed over to the Fiji Police Force.
  • Provision of a rapid response Fire and Rescue Vehicle that was recently handed over to the National Fire Authority.
  • Building of the new Accident and Emergency Unit at the Sigatoka Hospital that will be handed over today.