Big step closer for hospital
IN THE Tweed Shire, quality healthcare is never far away.
For us, embarking on a nine-hour boat trip to the nearest hospital, a journey which costs a year’s wage, seems unthinkable but for the residents of Star Harbour in the eastern Makira of the Solomon Islands, this is a daily reality.
A group of dedicated Tweed doctors and residents is hoping to bring relief to the community through ongoing support of construction of Namuga Hospital.
Murwillumbah doctor Chris Millar, who fell in love with the remote community when he worked there some years ago, is the project manager for Namuga Hospital.
Dr Millar said a rock trivia fundraiser, attended by more than 160 people at Kingscliff’s Babalou restaurant on October 23, raised $11,000 towards providing solar power at the facility.
The total money raised by the Tweed community over the past few years towards the project is $51,000.
“It’s excellent and I’m very grateful for the generosity of the community,” Dr Millar said.
Dr Millar was asked to help with healthcare facilities by his wife’s father, John Woria, the paramount chief of Star Harbour, and local politician Martin Karani.
The 44-bed hospital would be a lifeline for residents, who have so far had “inadequate access to suitable healthcare”, Dr Millar said.
The local Tweed medical community was heavily involved in the fundraiser, but Dr Millar found it “very heartening” to see a broad range of other community members support the cause.
He said the hospital, which was 75% complete, could be finished by March next year, depending on funding.
Tax-deductible donations can be made through Rotary Australia.