In an official ceremony last week, the Japanese government handed over the new state of the art hospital in Gizo to the Solomon Islands government.

The Premanent Secretary for Health Improvement, Dr Cedric Alependava, says the new sixty bed hospital has two operating theatres and will serve 100,000 people in Western Province, Choiseul and part of Isabel.

Dr Alependava says it will be the country's second referral hospital offering maternity, medical and surgical care.

The new referral hospital in Gizo, will save costly patient transfers to Honiara.

Dr Alependava says the facility was funded and built by the Japanese government and he describes it as classy, flashy and state-of-the-art with the latest medical equipment.

"We are very, very happy. Since the tsunami, tsunami in 2007 it has devasted our hospital and most of the clinics and this will definately help our people especially those sick and providing health care to our population in Solomon Islands, especially Western Province."

Dr Alependava says it is now up to the Solomon Islands government to put in the kitchen and laundry facilities before it opens its doors to the first patients early next year.