The Solomon Islands Government has announced the commencement of the overhaul of Tulagi Hospital in Tulagi, off the Nggela Sule coast. 

The beginning of this eight-month long upgrade work was marked by a groundbreaking ceremony. 

This project will cover several key areas of the hospital, including the administration building, theatre, isolation unit, dental unit, labour ward, and other spaces. 

It aims to provide the local community with access to specialised healthcare services directly in Tulagi, reducing the need for travel to Honiara for medical attention by outboard motor. 

Speaking at the event, Solomon Islands Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Culwick Togamana said: “With this new improved facility, we anticipate that the hospital will provide and upgrade existing services, as well as new health care services which have not been provided in the past but will now be available and accessible.” 

Togamana highlighted that all of these improvements to the hospital are part of broader efforts to fortify health systems and services, particularly in light of challenges faced during the recent Covid-19 pandemic.  

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The Tulagi Hospital renovation also aligns with the country’s National Health Strategic Plan 2022-2031. 

The latest construction milestone comes after the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and local company Super Construction signed a SI$7.2m ($829,440) contract agreement on 10 February, 2024.  

This refurbishment is being funded by the World Bank while the World Bank’s Project Management Unit within MHMS is overseeing the project implementation for timely and standard-compliant construction. 

World Bank Health Financing consultant Michael Mike said: “Extended to this renovation project, Central province will receive a new installed incinerator, in addition to two outboard motors, which were delivered last year to a lower facility to support logistic services from rural clinics and hospital.” 

Tulagi Hospital started serving the community from a leaf hut, set up in 1912 by the British Protectorate.  

The hospital currently caters to over 30,000 individuals from Tulagi and neighbouring areas such as Savo, Russell, and Ngella.