Health minister reveals plans to relocate St Giles Hospital to Ba

Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar. Picture: SUPPLIED/FILE

PLANS are underway to relocate the St Giles Hospital from Suva to the old Ba Mission Hospital site in the Western Division.

This was revealed by the Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar after visiting the patients at St Giles Hospital.

The visit was part of the ministry’s awareness on mental health and a build up to the National Mental Health day celebrations to be held in Labasa next Friday.

Ms Akbar said the old Ba Mission Hospital would soon be refurbished to cater for the relocation of St Giles Hospital.

“We will refurbish the whole facility. This will be fully funded by the Fijian Government,” she said.

St Giles Hospital is the only psychiatric hospital in Fiji which offers both in-patient care, treatment and psychiatric community care services.

Ms Akbar said it was the intention of the Government to have this relocation because of the deteriorating condition of the facilities at the current St Giles Hospital.

“As mentioned we need to extend our services more into rehab to help address those issues,” she added.

She reiterated that it was important that we understand the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

Meanwhile, The Ministry of Health and Medical Services in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) has trained 700 nurses nationwide in the last two years through the Mental Health Global Action Program (MHGAP).

The program enables those with non-specialised background in mental health to recognize mental health issues and have the ability to treat the issues in their own communities.

Through these trainings, the Health Ministry has been able to empower the nurses and mental health staff in the divisions and subdivisions to be able to reach out, identify individuals presenting with mental health issues and provide early intervention including suicide.

The Mental Health Global Action training has also created opportunities for information accessibility and counselling services provided at the nearest health centres and hospitals.

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