FLOODING and dealing with sub par facilities will soon be long forgotten memories following the opening of the new $11million China-funded Navua Hospital yesterday.
Residents of Navua and villagers from the Namosi and Serua provinces believe this is the start of a new era in health care for them.
Life-long Navua resident Dhirendra Chand says the new hospital will ease their suffering.
"This project will benefit not only the people of Navua but the whole of Namosi and Serua and who knows, even people from Suva can be here because it is so large and it has got state-of-the-art equipment," Mr Chand said.
Navunikabi villager in Namosi Lasaro Dau commended the new facility saying he believes many will live longer lives thanks to the new hospital.
But while some residents' comments about the miracles expected of this hospital are exaggerations, they have not denied the fact that they weathered continuous flooding at the old site.
This was witnessed by the Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama himself when he visited after the Navua river burst its banks to see nurses and doctors evacuating patients from the flooded halls.
"At that moment, I remember thinking that the opening of this new hospital couldn't come soon enough," he said while opening the new Navua Hospital.
He said the new hospital, located on elevated land given by the mataqali Naikorokoro of Namelimeli Village, was safe from the floods that continuously inundated the old hospital site.
The new hospital houses 20 beds and can tend to 150 patients a day.
It is equipped with the latest technology, as well as an ambulance for emergency situations complete with staff quarters, a back-up generator, public showers, a mortuary, and an incinerator and a water tower.
Chinese ambassador to Fiji Huang Yong said the old Navua Hospital had limited medical facilities in comparison with the new hospital which led to disruptions in service.