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90 years of service

Nasik Swami
Saturday, December 07, 2013

FROM a time it cared for Fiji's World War heroes and today being the country's largest referral centre, 90 years on and the CWM Hospital continues to expand its service in the medical service sector.

The CWM Hospital, one of the country's most colonial histories, celebrated its anniversary yesterday with the theme Celebrating 90 Years of Caring — and Beyond.

And amid celebrations, the hospital held public lectures and an open day for members of the public.

In an interview, hospital general manager Soro Toutou said the hospital was built in the year 1923 replacing the old 70-bed Colonial Hospital that was at Walu Bay, Suva since 1894.

"CWM Hospital was built at the present site as a war memorial for Fiji's First World Ward heroes of 1914-1918 and was opened by then Governor of Fiji Sir Cecil Rodwell," Mr Toutou said.

He said when the hospital opened its doors, the initial main buildings were ferro-concrete and contained an outpatient department, administration office, ward accommodation for 28 Europeans and 80 natives, kitchen, laundry, operating room, X-ray room, clinical laboratory, nurses home and lecture room.

"It had 108 beds and 27 staff members of which 17 were European doctors and nurses and 10 were native nurses."

Mr Toutou said the hospital today had a total of 1117 staff of which 133 are doctors, 534 are nurses, 173 paramedical and management staff and a support team of 277.

He said the theme depicted the hospital's contribution towards health care delivery and hospital service in Fiji.

CWM Hospital at a glance:

* 8000 to 9000 annual births

* About 27,000 admissions annually

* 33,000-plus outpatients visit annually

* About 6000 surgical operations annually