• The Acting PSH and Senior Executives of the Ministry of Health, Distinguished Guests
• The Chairman and Board Members of the Board of Visitors of CWM Hospital.
• The Management & staff of CWM Hospital
• Friends, Colleagues
• Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed a great honour for me to be here this morning and be part of this joyous occasion, the celebration of the 90th anniversary or double sapphire anniversary of CWM Hospital.

We are here to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Fiji largest hospital with the theme “Celebrating 90 years of Caring – and Beyond”. CWM Hospital has come a long way in the last 9 decades. Built as a memorial for those who served in the 1st World War, the hospital was opened on 2nd December 1923 by the then Governor of Fiji, Sir Cecil Rodwell. The government then had decided that there was an urgent need for a new hospital, so the new 108 bedded CWM Hospital replaced the old 70 beds Colonial Hospital which had been situated at Walu Bay since 1894. Funded largely by fund raising efforts of community members, the hospital was completed by a local construction company and the Public Works Department for £24,151. The new hospital had a total of 27 staff including 2 doctors.
Later additions and extensions of the infrastructure in 1924, 1938, 1965, 1969, 1975, 1995 & 2000 has resulted in the current 486 bed facility manned by more than 1200 staff members.

With the expansion of the infrastructure, the scope and range of services provided by the hospital has also increased. Being the main tertiary health care referral hospital for the nation, specialist clinical services has expanded and continues to do so with highly specialized equipment and medical items added into the hospitals armament – both as donations from individuals and donor organization, as well as through the annual capital purchases of the Ministry of Health.
Specialized patient care services such as interventional cardiology, urology, neurosurgery, oncology for adults and children, and advanced orthopaedic surgery are now offered to patients. The availability of well-trained Fijian health professionals and the acquisition of state of the art medical equipment combined with strategic partnership with health providers abroad have ensured that a high standard of services is delivered to the members of the public when they come to CWM Hospital.

CWMH has also been a fertile training institution for health professionals. As the training hospital for firstly the Central Medical School and Central Nursing School, then Fiji School of Medicine and the Fiji School of Nursing, then Fiji National University’s College of Medical, Nursing and Health Sciences, CWMH has contributed immensely to the professional and personnel development of many health professionals in Fiji and the region. It is a fact that many health professionals who had gone through CWM Hospital have gone on to become prominent health practitioners and public administrators in Fiji, the region and the international arena.

Since 2006, the government and the Ministry of Health have renewed its focus and interest in the delivery of quality health services in the public hospitals around Fiji. At CWM Hospital, this has come in the form of the acquisition of sophisticated medical equipment such as the CT Scan, MRI Scan and the EEG machine to improve the investigation and treatment of patients. The government had outfitted all major hospitals in Fiji including CWMH with new laundry machines in 2009 for $3.6 million, and purchased and distributed new patient monitoring equipment in 2010 for the cost of $3.2 million dollars. This has ensured the effective and efficient provision of clinical services at the hospital. Old vehicles were replaced with new ones in 2009 and 2010, and the infrastructure has been maintained and upgraded with new additions and extension to facilitate the delivery of services in a safe, patient friendly environment. In 2013, government approved the allocation of $9.9 million for the refurbishment of the Operating Theatres and Intensive Care Unit at CWM Hospital. For 2014, government has allocated more than $8 million funding for infrastructure development at CWM Hospital which includes the construction of a 200+ bedded new Maternity Hospital. These are clear indications of government’s commitment to the health and well-being of the people of Fiji.

The Community
It would be remiss of me not to highlight and acknowledge the contribution of the community to the development of CWM Hospital. Since the first collection of funds to build the original CWM Hospital, the individuals, social groups, NGOs and donor agencies have over the years willingly supported and assisted CWM Hospital with donations of millions of dollars of medical equipment, consumables and linen supplies.
The business organizations have stepped in time and time again to renovate and upgrade a ward, paint a room or corridor, or clean and beautify the hospital surroundings.
Government representatives and high commissioners of countries like Australia and India have donated millions of dollars of medical equipment to better equip the hospital for its health caring role for the people of Fiji.
The community both local and abroad has indeed shaped CWM Hospital to what it is today.

The Celebration
Therefore there is every reason to celebrate. The theme captures the heart and soul of the occasion.

We celebrate - to pay tribute to our pioneers in health who with selfless dedicated and exemplary commitment have paved the way for the current and future generations of health workers. For those who are still with us and many more who have passed on, we salute you all.

We celebrate - to recognise the unwavering support of members of community over the years toward CWM Hospital and health services in Fiji.

We celebrate - to acknowledge the vision and commitment of government in focussing on better health services for its people.

We celebrate - to dream of the future and create a vision of where we want CWM Hospital to be in years to come.

I invite you all to join me in wishing CWM Hospital the very best for the 90th anniversary celebration and praying for the blessing of the Almighty for the many years ahead.

God Bless CWM Hospital & the Ministry of Health, and God Bless Fiji.

Vinaka vakalevu,
Dhanyavaad, and
Thank you very much.