The Taiwanese government officially handed over the National Referral Hospital Phase 3 project to the government and people of Solomon Islands.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Taiwan Ambassador to Solomon Islands, H.E. George Chan, said the construction of the project is of high standard and according to the acceptable code of construction.

The construction includes a new multi-purpose centre and new workshop facilities, worth SBD$13.28 million.

Mr. Chan said the importance of the project is that it symbolizes a token of friendship and a spirit of cohesion between the two countries.

"... the Phase III project has strengthened the capacity of the hospital, and has furnished the hospital with more resources to care for medical activities," he said.

Mr. Chan said although the project was behind its original schedule, "... we are pleased this project has been completed".

He said during the tension time, while all foreign institutions and organisations packed and withdrew from Solomon Islands, "we extended our helping hand all the way and never changed our mind, so today this hand-over ceremony of the project become a reality".

"The [hospital] is a landmark for the relationship of Taiwan and Solomon Islands, and it is also a major, and brilliant, assistance project that demonstrates Taiwan's commitment and friendship with Solomon Islands," Mr. Chan said.

He said since the establishment of the cordial and friendly diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Solomon Islands the past 24 years, Taiwan government has been actively involved in the establishment and extension of the National Referral Hospital.

"Taiwan will continue to uphold the objective of 'health for all', and Taiwan government will definitely support this project as it will make significant and meaningful contributions in the health sector of Solomon Islands," Mr. Chan said.

The hand-over ceremony was made in the presence of Minister of Health, Clay Forau, his staff, the national hospital staff and the Taiwanese Embassy staff.