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US vessels to provide service

Luke Rawalai
Friday, June 27, 2014

TWO catamarans from the US are expected to begin providing much needed medical services in the Lau and Yasawa groups by July 4.

Speaking during an interview, Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma said the two floating health care clinics would have local doctors and nurses providing health services for those in these maritime zones.

Dr Sharma said they would officially launch the joint partnership between the ministry and the American volunteer group known as Sea Mercy next week.

"Sea Mercy has two catamarans which will be launched by the Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama," he said.

"This will also include the launching of the brand new sea ambulance for Lomaloma in Vanuabalavu in the Lau Group.

"The two catamarans will be staffed by American doctors, nurses, dentists including our local team."

Dr Sharma said one of the catamarans would be based in the Yasawas while the other one would be based in Lau.

"The team will carry out six to seven trips before leaving our waters as the hurricane season approaches.

"This will form a relief for the amount of money that government currently spends on transportation of medical emergency cases in maritime zones.

"We are trying to improve the facilities out there and putting up more nurses and doctors so they can treat them there."

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