Hospital struggles to cope with birthrate

THE Lautoka Hospital Maternity Unit is struggling to cope with the increase in birthrates being experienced over the past seven years.

Built in 1975 to cater for 2000 births a year, the unit has seen a steady increase to more than 4000 since 2010.

This was the message from acting medical superintendent Dr Rigamoto Taito.

Speaking at the opening of the hospital’s brand new $12.7 million Emergency Department and operating theatres, she said the Maternity Unit was doing its best to cope with the surge in births.

“Since 2010, our Maternity Unit has been consistently delivering more than 4000 babies per year,” she said.

“It is important to note that our Maternity Unit was built 42 years ago to cater for 2000 deliveries a year and now we are handling more than double that number.

“Our Maternity Unit is stretched to its limit during peak delivery months, hence it is another area in line for infrastructure development so we can improve the hospital experience for mothers and babies.”

Dr Taito said because of hospitals being the place where most people were born and ultimately would breathe their last breath, it was important that health care facilities were made as comfortable as possible for patients and their family members.

“Hospitals are places where most of us make our grand entrance into this world, we take our first breath at birth and after we have lived our life, hopefully to the fullest, we often return to the hospital to breathe our last breath as we exit this life.

“Thus it makes a lot of sense that we prioritise investments for this hospital and other health facilities and help make the experience a good and memorable one for all of us.

“Therefore, I would like to commend the Government of the day for giving the communities of the west a new Emergency Department and operating theatres at the Lautoka Hospital.”

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