Fiji secures AU$10M funding for CWM infrastructure master plan

Fiji secures AU$10M funding for CWM infrastructure master plan

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Saturday 16/03/2024

Fiji and Australia have further strengthened their commitment to working together to improve Fiji’s healthcare system as the Minister for Health, Ratu Atonio Lalabalavu, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad and the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald signed a funding agreement for approximately FJ$14.7 million (AU$10 million) for the CWM infrastructure master plan.

Speaking at the signing, Professor Prasad acknowledges the support of the Australian government in the areas of security and defence, health, education, climate change, trade and economic cooperation.

He says the Direct Funding Arrangement with a total funding support of AU$10 million, will bolster Fiji’s efforts to deliver a comprehensive infrastructure master plan for the country’s national referral hospital.

He adds while this has always been a need, this project forms part of the recommendations of a World Bank technical mission in October 2023 to review infrastructure needs at the CWM Hospital.

The Finance Minister says the Coalition Government inherited a national health system on the verge of collapse, and the delivery of health services in Fiji has been and is still far from satisfactory.

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He says that is why, as a Government, they are reallocating resources in this financial year’s budget, as well as, future budgets, to give priority to the health of our nation.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald, highlighted that this agreement marks a significant milestone for healthcare in Fiji, and he commends the Fiji Government’s commitment to ensure quality health services for all Fijians through an increase in health expenditure and a focus on redeveloping infrastructure.

He says while the work on the masterplan is underway, they will also work with the Fiji Government to invest in CWM to ensure it can continue to deliver crucial healthcare until a replacement becomes a reality.

McDonald says the master plan will be undertaken in three phases over the next several years and the first two phases will include a clinical services plan and a comprehensive options analysis to determine the best option for the hospital’s redevelopment.

He adds the final phase will be the development of a detailed master plan and designs for a new hospital, which meets the Government’s vision of a modern, resilient, and patient-centred healthcare system and the requirements of potential partners to finance the construction phase.

Meanwhile, Australia and Fiji also took the opportunity to recognise CWM staff who have recently graduated with an Australian certificate in the ‘Foundations of Infection Prevention and Control.

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