Tongans can line up for free treatment on Chinese hospital ship from Monday afternoon

'Oku 'i lalo ha faito'o faka-Tonga

Doctors on a Chinese naval vessel will offer free medical services in Tonga next week.

The  Ark Peace will offer free consultation and treatment (including diagnosis, examination, surgical operation as well as inpatient and medicine) to local people on board the hospital ship.

The ship will provide medical services on board from August 13-17 at the Vuna wharf.

Treatment times are 1.30-5pm on August 13 and 8:30 to 11:30am  and 1:30-5pm on August 14-17.

People can go to the wharf and wait in line to be called to the ship.

Chinese navy medical teams will also provide free medical services on shore at hospitals, schools, villages and other locations.

The Ark Peace has previously visited to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji. She previously visited Tonga in 2014.

Primarily designed to treat casualties during wartime, the ship is equipped with a 4000 square metre hospital.

She is a Type 920 hospital ship of the People’s Liberation Army Navy and when not carrying out international medical operations, is known as the Daishan Dao.

She has been used to provide free medical services to a number of countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific since she was launched in 2008.

A spokesman for the Ark Peace described this as “the concrete practice of carrying forward international humanitarianism and disseminating the concept of peace, development and co-operation.”

During the visit to Tonga, personnel from the ship will visit local schools and play a friendly football match against the Tongan defence force.

Rear Admiral Guan Bailin and Rear Admiral Qin Wei, commanders of Mission Harmony – 2018, will pay courtesy calls on both the senior military officers and government officials of Tonga.

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