Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar said she was indebted to members of the public who moved in as volunteers at the Lautoka Hospital to assist in moving patients to safety.
The operating theatres on the second floor of the hospital caught fire early yesterday morning and 157 patients had to be evacuated to safety.
She also commended the role nurses played and applauded their bravery and dedication in ensuring all patients were taken to safety.
Ms Akbar arrived at the hospital to assess the damage and to meet with the team.
“The team here is looking to normalise operations at the hospital,” Ms Akbar said.
“The quick action on the part of the military, the police department, the fire fighters and the staff at the hospital ensured that there were no casualties.
“All our 157 patients were evacuated to the car park.”
Ms Akbar paid tribute to members of the public who stepped in and contributed in the evacuation of the patients.
“I am so indebted to the members of the public for all their help,” Ms Akbar said.
“They came forward to help the authorities, and my nurses and doctors, in evacuating the patients and this is something I would really like to thank the people of Lautoka who were here at that time of the morning.”
The total cost and extent of the damage will be determined once investigations are completed.
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was at the Lautoka Hospital yesterday where he met with staff and assessed the damage.
“I’m actually concerned about the water that is weighing down the floors above the x-ray department right now because water has seeped through the floor,” he said.
“The machines have been moved because there is no electricity there and it’s not safe.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was a miracle that no one was hurt or killed and he commended the work of the hospital staff and all those that came to help.
“The main thing is that nobody got injured, nobody was killed. Staff worked fast to move everyone to the car park with the help of military, police and fire department personnel.”