The agreement to pave way for the commencement of work to erect the Comprehensive Medical Centre at the Eastern wing of the National Referral Hospital was successfully signed this morning.
Health Minister Hon. Dr. Culwick Togamana and Ms. Gong Rui, Economic and Commercial Counsellor, People’s Republic of China Embassy in the Solomon Islands penned their signatures to formalize the agreement that was witnessed by the Hon Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and His Excellency Mr. Li Ming, the People’s Republic of China Ambassador to the Solomon Islands.
The agreement signed, stipulates the various roles and responsibilities of the Solomon Islands government through the Ministry of Health and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) towards the Medical Centre project.
In his remarks, Ambassador Li Ming highlighted that the medical center is amongst several other major projects including the Pacific Games Stadium project that China and Solomon Islands agreed upon as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in October 2019.
“This medical center project that we are funding will be a brand new 4-floor building with core clinical functions of cardiac (heart), Nephrology (kidney) and Urology (Urinary tract) care services with inpatient services such as admissions, diagnostics, and treatment, etc.”,
“And we will not only be supporting the infrastructure or construction work but also the provision of the necessary medical equipment needed to carry out the clinical functions outlined and provide necessary medical equipment and furniture, two years of maintenance and personal training”, highlighted Ambassador Li.
He said that 7 experts from CSADI, the same institute supervising the SPG 2023 Stadium project have completed their on-site study with the design plan. “Therefore, with the plan and signing today the Government of China will organize tendering for the General contractor, while Solomon Government prepares land and grounds work”,
“It is indeed a pleasure for the Chinese Government to provide this health-preserving and life-saving project along with support in other areas of health as we work hand to hand to improve and enhance healthcare services in the country”, assured Ambassador Li.
Hon. Prime Minister in his response thanked the Ambassador for his remarks while stating that signing of the implementation agreement is another milestone that demonstrates the maturity of bilateral relations of China and the Solomon Islands within three short years since bilateral relations were established in September 2019.
“Your excellency heart and renal diseases are amongst the leading causes of death in Solomon Islands. As part of non-communicable diseases, they contribute to seven to eight deaths out of every 10 deaths amongst adult Solomon Islanders”,
“As such as we are very grateful for the support because once completed, this comprehensive medical center will be the country’s first center of excellence equipped with facilities and equipment capable of diagnosing heart and kidney-related problems and providing options on treatment and management, including dialysis capabilities for renal patients. Many of these services that this center will offer will enable citizens to have it here for free without the need to travel overseas as is the case today”, said Sogavare.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged support from China through its medical professionals and experts currently working alongside the medical team at NRH and the acupuncture services provided by your acupuncture specialist. “We have heard of many positive stories from those receiving the acupuncture service your team has been providing and we hope many more can also benefit from it”.
Prime Minister Sogavare concluded by stating that the level of funding support, by China demonstrates the strength, maturity, and genuineness of the partnership between China and Solomon Islands. “Thank you Ambassador Li Ming and thank you indeed to the government and people of China.