Government has approved a funding for $7.2 million for refurbishment works at Labasa Hospital which includes the construction of a new Stress Ward.
When completed, it will allow the service to move from its current location to the new site, to serve the people of the Northern division.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Health Dr Antonio Lalabalavu at the Labasa Hospital’s New Stress Ward ground-breaking ceremony and upgrade of the Labasa Hospital Wards.
Dr Lalabalavu said Fiji’s referral hospital for mental health, the St Giles Hospital, has reported an increase in the number of outpatient visits post-pandemic.
He said the hospital would normally attend to about 40 patients from 8am- 1pm daily, with 45 admissions a month.
“From 2022, some 60 patients are now seen daily and with 75 patients admitted per month at the hospital. This increase is a reflection of the increasing prevalence of mental health conditions in our communities.”
Dr Lalabalavu said refurbishment and upgrade is critical to service delivery at the Labasa Hospital, its General Outpatient Department, Children’s Ward, Operation Theatre and Men’s Surgical Ward.
“This upgrade is crucial as Labasa Hospital serves as the main referral urban hospital in the Northern Division, which caters for three Sub-Divisional Hospitals, 19 Health Centres and 21 Nursing Stations.”
He said in the past, health infrastructure has suffered from neglect, that health workers have suffered many challenging circumstances to deliver health care services to the people.
“When completed, loose ceiling boards, exposed electrical wires and malfunctioning air conditioning systems will become a thing of the past,” he added.