Health Minister Hon. Dr. Culwick Togamana, Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil and officials from the Ministry of Health together with Senior Management of the National Referral Hospital, yesterday held an onsite discussion around NRH COVID-19 response and COVID-19 patient care at the NRH Golden Ward.

The Golden Ward, previously the Orthopaedic Ward was swiftly repurposed for management of critical and severe COVID-19 patients following the outbreak in January 2022.

NRH Chief Executive Officer, Dr George Malefoasi, Medical Superintendent Dr Janella Solomon including senior NRH staff, Father Selwyn Hou the Director of Nursing and Dr Jones Ghabu, Head of Internal Medicine briefed the minister and team on the various aspects of the hospital’s response to COVID-19.

These include, response efforts at the initial days and weeks following the outbreak, implementation of recommendations by the Australia Medical Assistant team, treatment of COVID-19 positives with underlying health conditions, COVID medical supplies and consumables, human resources etc.

Minister Dr Togamana thanked the hospital management, clinicians, the doctors and nurses, including corporate service staff etc. for their invaluable sacrifices, tireless efforts, hard work, courage and bravery in the management of COVID-19 patients and overall efforts to restore the hospital back to normalcy.

"Truly it is not an easy task and I stand in great salutation to you all for your hard work, dedication and commitment to saving lives and preserving the health of our people at this difficult time.

"Many of the issues raised from the need of more supplies for COVID-19 patient care to additional man power and expertise to support the various phases of managing COVID-19 patient and those with underlying health conditions are well noted and immediate actions will be undertaken to ensure these are addressed," said Dr Togamana.

The Health Minister and team also had the opportunity to briefly interact with COVID-19 patient under strict and top level Infection, Prevention and Control measures.

"Having such an opportunity to talk to COVID-19 patients is crucial to ensure that when we continue to discuss issues and find solutions to our current COVID situation, we can put a face and name to these discussions and this will bring a whole new perspective and right emotions to these discussions," explained Dr Togamana.

He encouraged the NRH medical team to share their knowledge and skills in management of COVID- patient care to counter parts out in the provinces as the ministry is working hard to equip provincial hospitals, area health centres and rural clinics with COVID-19 supplies.

Similar visits and onsite discussions to other hospitals, clinics across the country are being scheduled for the coming weeks.

Source: MHMS Media