Friday, 7 September 2007 10:13 AM

Solomon Islands Tops Health Care in Pacific

Solomon Islands is currently topping health care systems in the pacific region, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And Minister of Health and Medical services, Clay Forau Soalaoi, immediately commended the government, donor partners and health workers around the country for their significant role to this national achievement. Solomon Islands is ranked 80th while Palau is at 82nd out of 191 member countries of the WHO.

Mr Forau attributed the improvement in the country's WHO ranking to free accessibility to medical services and drugs to all citizens of the country.
He said, unlike in other countries such as the US, the Solomon's health care system is freely available to all - even if people have or don't have money to afford health care.

"I think our government has adopted one of the fairest health care systems in the world which does not discriminate against those who have limited financial resources to afford health services and drugs," Mr Forau said.

Two major donor partners that heavily supported the Solomons health sector is the Republic of Taiwan and AusAID. Mr Forau said AusAID is the major supporter in terms of drugs and budget for the Ministry of Health while Taiwan invests heavily in health infrastructure and expertise missions throughout the rural Solomons.

"The contributions of these donor partners in collaboration with the Solomon Islands government have impacted positively on our general healthcare system," he said.

Mr Forau said the present government committed to further improve the ranking under its bottom up approach policy on rural health centers.

The report indicates that European health systems are generally performing best and that the United States is lagging behind, largely because of unequal distribution of health care services.

The other pacific countries rankings are; Fiji (96), Nauru (98), Cook Islands (107), Samoa (119), Niue (121), FSM (123), Vanuatu (127), Tuvalu (136), Marshall Islands (141), Kiribati (142) and PNG (148).

The five top nations for health care were France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra and Malta. The US is 37th.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province