Tuesday, 7 October 2008 9:28 PM

Health Facilities

The three main factors that were mentioned to hinder the Health & Safety issues of imported goods are lack of appropriate legal instruments, lack of equipment equipment and lack of suitable facilities. Let me discuss facilities issue.

Most of our Health facilities, including National Referral Hospital (NRH), are designed and built by donors.. These facilities are built with the functions of the donor countries in mind. It is very common that these facilities have rooms, partitions, facilities, etc that are not appropriate for our health services and customs.

Let me give you an example of the NRH. The Pharmacy at the Out-patient department was completed on Phase 1 with a room to manufacture medicines. This is the type of services that are performed by the donor country but we do not do in our Health system. The Physiotherapy Room was completed with only a large room. Nothing else for patients to use for exercise.

This facility was not even commissioned according to the normal Health Facility & Planning protocols.

These flaws are common in our Health facilities in Solomon Islands that are planned, designed and built by donors with inadequate input from our public, politicians, health staff, etc. Thus most of our Health facilities are built with overseas concepts but yet they are expected to be used to perform Solomon Island health functions. This often result in wrong tools for a given task. Thus, we often spend additional money to make alteration to suite the functions of our health system.

We need to use our local cultures, national health concepts, public inputs, etc to formulate Functional Design Briefs that we can then use to discuss with donors who wish to help us. Functional Design Briefs are are like the 'bible' of facility planning that engineers & architectures use to design and build health facilities. This is to ensure that the facilities that the donors build for us are appropriate for our culture, health functions, norms and values.

Due to lack of Commissioning, there was no check on the qualities of materials that were used on the NRH building. As a result, the materials deteriorate before their expected lifetime. we must Commission a building before we start to use the facilities. Furthermore, we must do P.O.E (Post-Occupancy Evaluation ) Study after 1 - 1.5 years of the facilities to see if the facilities perform their intended functions.

Unless we follow the normal guidelines in Health Facility Planning & Designing, we will continue to have Health facilities that do not cater for our culture, health delivery system, norms, values and financial constraints.

Em sapala idea for helpem ologeta wantok lelebet. No guti iumi malanga long ologeta new facilities.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Samuel Mola and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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