THE new accident and emergency wing at the Ra Sub-Divisional Hospital will assist medical staff and health officials in their efforts to reduce non-communicable diseases in Rakiraki.
Rakiraki Town Council acting special administrator Seini Raiko said non-communicable diseases had been an area of concern not only for health officials but also for the council.
"One of our main concerns is NCDs because in Rakiraki we have a number of NCDs and there was a concern that there was no heart facility here," said Ms Raiko.
Ms Raiko said the elderly residents in Rakiraki Town were more susceptible to NCDs and were in need of a proper facility where they could be treated.
The hospital which was opened on Friday, cost $170,000 to build, bringing more medical relief to patients and medical staff.
"Even though this A&E is not a fully fledged heart facility, at least the atmosphere that they now have is a big contributor to how the heart patients minimise stress when coming to the hospital.
"They come to the hospital with the understanding and confidence that they will be treated but when they get here there's no space, no beds and no facilities contributes to their stress.
"So a lot of times what could have been minimised is maximised and it puts more stress on them and increases their chance of death.
"It's the older generation that is more concerned over the fight against NCDs probably because they are more susceptible to these diseases that come with old age.
"What we could do now is probably put out more awareness to the younger generation so that they keep themselves healthy and also lend a hand when they can."