Silent auction to help renovation of CWM

British High Commissioner Dr Brian Jones speaks during the silent auction at his residence on Thursday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

A silent auction organised by the British High Commission was held on Thursday to help in the renovation of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital(CWMH) infrastructure.

Speaking to this newspaper, British High Commissioner Dr Brian Jones said they had a target with the Board of Visitors to fundraise $300,000 for this initiative.

“Considering the scale of business people and commercial houses from all over Fiji that is quite a realistic target,” Dr Jones said. “I hope to get a whole range of contributions from a practical side, but also financial side.

“And my job as a high commissioner is to bring people together and to put oil in the wheels of businesses.

“And in this context the private sector has got more than enough to support CWM Hospital.

“This does not need donor partners like United Kingdom (UK), Australia and New Zealand to come in and pay for the hospital because the business houses and champions of the private sector are standing up and doing it.”

Dr Jones said in every country there were people asking for better healthcare facilities.

“Back in the UK the nurses are going on strike, people are asking for better healthcare even though the standards are considerably better with what we have in Fiji.

“So with our friends in the media it’s our job to bring people together and let them know what the needs are and Fijians can stand up and do that work themselves.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Atonio Lalalabalavu told guests they could make a different to CWMH’s future by pledging funds to support the infrastructure needs.

“CWM Hospital is 100 years old this year and we ask that you listen tonight with both your ears and your hearts to the needs of CWM Hospital,” he said.

“In order to see how we can pull together as a community and a nation to make CWM Hospital what it should be – ‘A premier provider of high quality healthcare with the appropriate infrastructure that supports this’.

“Together we can improve the environment in which healthcare is delivered to our people, and also improve the working environment of our valued medical staff who serve the people of Fiji.”

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