US Navy hospital ship treats 3,000 patients during Pacific Games visit to Solomon Islands

Friday, 1 December 2023, 1:17 pm

USNS Mercy arrived in Honiara on November 18. (Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard)

The people of Solomon Islands have had the added benefit of accessing high-quality medical assistance on their doorstep as a result of hosting the 17th Pacific Games.

The 1,000 bed US Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy has been berthed at the Honiara main wharf for the two-week duration of the Games.

The media were given a tour of the "floating hospital" with its world-class equipment for medical services, which include CT scan, X-rays, an operating theatre and a GE lightspeed casket for trauma and advanced diagnostics.

The USNS Mercy's visit is the second since the US re-engaged with the Solomon Islands through the Pacific Partnership, providing surgical and clinical care and training for locals.

Mission Commander Captain Brian Quin said close to 100 surgeries had been conducted and over 3,000 patients had been treated.

Commanding Officer Captain Jefferey Feinberg said apart from providing medical services onboard the ship, military medical personnel were also at the Games venues.

Solomon Islands' hosting of the region's mini-Olympics has led to increased attention on the small island nation, with great visibility of police and military personnel from Australia, the United States, PNG and China - all the powers pushing for dominance in the region.