12 Apr 2005

Call for Fiji government to take action over building problems at Taveuni Hospital

2:08 pm on 12 April 2005

A senior opposition MP in Fiji is calling on the government to take action over a hospital in the outlying, eastern island of Taveuni that has serious structural problems.

A report says about 15 expectant and nursing mothers had to be evacuated when the ceiling of its maternity ward collapsed because of condensed water from the air conditioning.

But the chairman Fiji's Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, Poseci Bune, says the problem in the relatively new maternity wing is more widespread:

"The ceiling for the labour ward has fallen three or four times already. The walls are cracking so it appears that substandard materials were used."

The hospital had been built only three years ago by an Australian company, under Australian aid.

Poseci Bune, who has just returned form a a tour of Vanua Levu and surrounding areas, wants the Health Department to go back to the contractor to see if the problems can be rectified.