TONGA SEEKING JAPANESE FUNDS FOR NEW HOSPITAL

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (March 31, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Tonga is lobbying the Japanese Government to fund a new hospital in the capital, Nuku‘alofa.

A local health official said the new hospital, if constructed, would have a fully equipped operating room, an institute of health sciences, a dental department, special clinics, physiotherapy and dietary services and a new mortuary.

Officials from the two countries met in Nuku‘alofa earlier this month to discuss whether to refurbish Vaiola Hospital or build a new one at a different location.

A Tongan Government representative said the hospital also is in dire need of emergency vehicles.

Japan is expected to make a decision on the requests before the end of the year.

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