Health minister’s plan to confront hospital’s challenges

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete during his visit at Wainibokasi Hospital. Picture: JONA KONATACI/FILE

PATIENTS admitted to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s (CWMH) emergency unit should not be lying on the passage for more than four hours, says CWMH acting superintendent Dr James Fong.

Dr Fong said this was the new policy implemented by Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete during one of his recent visits to the hospital.

Dr Fong said if a patient was on the passage as it approached the four-hour mark, staff would be actively looking for a room for the patient.

He said to supplement this “four-hour rule” they had also created space within the hospital for these patients.

“If you walk down to the emergency department now you can see the corridor is empty. It’s empty because of that specific rule,” he said.

He said one of the biggest plans to address this issue was the construction of the new maternity unit.

“So by building the new maternity unit there will be more beds. We are shifting some of the current maternity unit into those spaces and it opens up other spaces for the other disciplines to use,” he said.

He said Dr Waqainabete’s firmness towards medical staff sets the tone for more decision making to happen within the hospital.

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