Caption: Staff nurse Sujata Kumari checks Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s pressure after the Punajs Medical Centre’s opening ceremony.Photo:SUPPLIED.
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
The newly built Punjas Medical Centre was officially opened by the Prime Minister Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama in Lautoka on Friday, January 23.
The Medical Centre, built at a cost of $500,000, will ensure more people in Lautoka have access to basic medical services. This community service drive also coincides with the 80th anniversary since the founding of the first Punjas store by the late Punja Kara in Sigatoka in 1935 and Mr Kanti Punja celebrating his 80th birthday this year.
Hon. Bainimarama, while addressing during the official opening ceremony, mentioned one feature about the medical centre which made it uniquely different from the other Centre’s he launched earlier in the week at Vatukarasa, Cuvu and the new extension at the Sigatoka Hospital.
“The entire cost of building this facility – half a million dollars – has been born by the Punja and Sons family through their charitable trust,” Prime Minister said.
“It is a wonderful act of generosity on the part of this family and the Punja and Sons Group of Companies. And I want to say a heartfelt “vinaka vakalevu” to them on behalf of the Fijian Government and the Fijian people.”
He said this is also a day to celebrate a wonderful partnership between Government and the private sector.
“Because while the Punjas Group has paid for this facility, it is the Government that will resource it through the doctors and nurses of the Ministry of Health.
“From today (January 23) the people of Lautoka have a choice in whether to come here or to go the Lautoka hospital, which we all know is under pressure because of the demand on its services. This facility will do a great deal to relieve some of that pressure, so it is a valuable addition to the health infrastructure of the Sugar City and its citizens.”
Punjas managing director Mr Nitin Punja said health care and well-being plays a major role in the corporate social responsibility activities of the Punjas Group which is led by the senior director Mr Kanti Lal Punja.
“This new centre is the result of many years of work by many people but more than anybody, it was a project that was led and driven by Mr Kanti Punja.
“We believe health care is a universal right, though our company, Punjas Charity Trust, we have fully funded the construction of this community medical Centre. We sincerely hope this new medical Centre will give more people in our city easier and quicker access to health care services they need.”
The Medical Centre, located at 10 Cakau Street, includes an ambulance bay, two consultation rooms, a ramp for bed transfers, a records room, a pharmacy, a staff kitchen, cleaning and change room with shower facilities and amenities for people with disabilities.