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Minister considers needs of St Giles patients

Ana Madigibuli
Saturday, February 23, 2013

MINISTER for Health Doctor Neil Sharma says the ministry hopes to separate patients being treated at the St Giles Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr Sharma said they were looking at ways to separate the acutely ill patients, the criminally insane and the physically challenged.

He made the comments during his visit to the St Giles Hospital in Suva yesterday where he toured the facility and visited patients in the occupational therapy areas to identify what patients may need.

He said the ministry hoped to address those issues raised by the patients so they could live comfortably while being treated.

"Looking at the developments which are taking place in St Giles Hospital after 60 years, close to $300,000 worth of capital works is undertaken in creating a better work environment and creating better facilities for our patients," Dr Sharma said.

"One of the changes in the last 60 years was that we had for the first time a new mental health decree which modernises the approach to mental health," he said.

"We, also for the first time, had a post graduate program called the post graduate diploma in mental health and six doctors and six nurses had graduated last year.

"Now they are looking after the stress management wards in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa, clinics and the community psychiatric facilities in Suva, Labasa and Lautoka."

He said the ministry ensured there was no shortage of medication and that patients were well cared for.

"We hope that we can improve facilities at St Giles Hospital as we go on," he said.

"About 30 acutely ill patients are at the hospital, with 30 handicapped individuals and 14 to 15 criminally insane patients that are being accommodated at the hospital.

"And we are looking at ways in getting them back to the communities and their homes where they really should be," he added.


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