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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 11, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Colonial Insurance and Financial Services Company has announced plans to build Fiji's first private hospital in partnership with Mayne Nickless, an international healthcare company operating throughout Australia and Indonesia.

The two companies have launched HealthCare Pacific, which will build the new $F 7 million (US$ 3.61 million) hospital.

HealthCare Pacific Chief Executive John Gibbs said the company would begin operations over the next 12 to 18 months.

"In July, HealthCare Pacific Pathology will begin to offer a rapid, accurate and sophisticated private pathology service," he said.

"In September, construction of Suva Private Hospital will commence and, approximately one year later, it plans to officially open both Suva Private Hospital and HealthCare Pacific Radiology Center."

"The hospital will comprise 40 beds in single and multiple ward configurations, two operating theaters and an endoscopy suite, two labor delivery rooms, on-site pathology, radiology, pharmacy and physiotherapy, an accident and medical center and specialist consulting rooms."

"The major benefits offered by HealthCare Pacific extend beyond improved patient care to macroeconomic benefits for Fiji in the form of fewer medical evacuations, preserved foreign reserves, increased employment opportunities, greater access to technical training for medical staff, and fewer overseas migrations by medical professionals," he said.

"By complementing and supplementing the public sector health facilities, HealthCare Pacific will have a positive impact on healthcare delivery and service throughout Fiji."

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