25 graduate doctors will join the National Referral Hospital, boosting health delivery services at the country's main hospital.

This followed the completion of the Bridging Program, a year-long teaching program to support the training of returned foreign trained medical graduates of Solomon Islands.

The program is part of the SIMPLER (Solomon Islands Medical Partnerships for Learning, Education and Research) that is supported by the Australian government and implemented by Australia Volunteers International, AVI.

They will be posted to NRH general medicines, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics.

‘This is not only a great result but also a timely one as the hospital is in the middle of responding to COVID-19 community transmissions and since last week have been deploying some of its medical teams to the provinces to help with COVID-19 response there. Therefore, these additional numbers of doctors will significantly contribute towards the work at hand at NRH’,

‘Nevertheless, they will be supervised and in time gain expertise and ability to work independently to serve not only in Honiara but across our country’, said Dr. Janella Solomon, NRH Medical Superintendent.

She also thanked the Australian government for supporting SIMPLER which includes the bridging program that the now intern doctors have successfully completed.

‘We are very pleased with the support so far provided by the Government of Australia for the post graduate training of our doctors and special thanks to Frances Kennedy, the only Australia Volunteer who has been with us well before COVID-19 community transmission until today’, said Dr. Solomon.

Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Sally-Anne Vincent, congratulated the cohort of doctors for completing their bridging program while stating that Australia is pleased to have provided the support in that regard.

‘Australia and Solomon Islands have a longstanding partnership in the health sector. Australia has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to enhance Solomon Islands health system for many year now. With the current COVID-19 outbreak, we have also responded to requests from the government and health ministry, providing financial support, senior technical expertise and medical supplies’,

‘Australia is proud to witness all 25 of the young doctors graduate from the bridging program and we wish them well as they forge valuable careers in the medical profession’, said Ms. Vincent.

At the graduation ceremony to mark the completion of the bridging program the new intern doctors read the Hippocratic oath to uphold proper conduct and ethical standards required by the medical profession.

Speaking on behalf of the intern doctors, Dr Ralf Wahai, who received the most outstanding intern award for demonstrating greatest academic professional and clinical knowledge and behaviour, thanked the NRH Executive and Management for the bridging program and Australia government for the support.

‘The program has enabled us to gain a lot of experience through training not only on clinical knowledge itself but also behaviour and conduct which are equally important in this profession’,

‘The response to COVID-19 community transmission has also greatly thought us some important lessons which we can draw from moving forward in our carrier. All in all, with the completion of the bridging program we are now ready to take on the task ahead and we will all ensure that we deliver to our best’, said Dr. Wahai.

Source: MHMS Media