No new government vehicles: ‘If it works, we will keep using it’

Thursday April 30, 2020 Written by Published in Economy
Minister for Health, Rose Brown. 20042902/03 Minister for Health, Rose Brown. 20042902/03

With the screech of a siren, the newest addition to Rarotonga’s ambulance fleet was welcomed into the family yesterday.

During a formal blessing at the Tupapa Community Health Clinic, the modified Toyota Hiace ambulance funded by the Cook Islands Government was given the name Joshua, which means saviour.

Acting Secretary of Health Dr Tereapii Uka said the name was more than appropriate given the lives it will impact and save.

Minister of Health Rose Toki Brown, pictured, thanked frontline health staff, including ambulance officers, for their contribution and hard work.

It was the Cook Islands Government’s hope that Joshua the ambulance would look after the people of Rarotonga, she added.

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Two Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD ambulances have also been donated to Atiu and Mangaia by Japan and are due to arrive on Rarotonga on May 21.

With the Cook Islands one of the few countries to remain Covid-19 free, Dr Uka wanted to remind the community to take care of themselves and their health and wellbeing.

High numbers of strokes and fish poisoning cases as well as dengue fever were concerning, especially among young people, Dr Uka said.

Last night, Finance Minister Mark Brown announced the government’s vehicle fleet replacement was also on hold. “For now we will only replace broken-down vehicles that are necessary for government to deliver services to the community,” he said. “If it works, we will keep using it and for as long as we need to.” 

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