I can highly recommend the elective as I really had a wonderful time. It does depend what you're looking for though.
|Helena Goldie Hospital - looking towards the office and operating theatre|
The Solomons are very expensive to get to from the UK in terms of flights and whilst buying fresh food at the markets is cheap, it wasn't the cheapest elective I could have had.
In terms of accommodation I first stayed at Robina House at the hospital which is a really lovely little house, ideal for medical students. All payments go to the hospital as well so staying there is supporting the hospital. However it does mean that if you want to go into town and to go diving/shopping/to the hotel for a drink, it's a 30 min walk (each way) in the heat. With the sun going down at around 6pm every night it also means you have to leave before dark. If you're there with other medical students though you can do the walk in the dark as long as you have a couple of good torches (head-torches are ideal). Just watch out for crabs and frogs on the path.
|Qua Roviana Guesthouse|
For these reasons, I chose to stay at Qua Roviana, a guesthouse in town for the remainder of my stay. It was a bit cheaper, and in town so meant I could be a bit more sociable in the evenings. I don't think they have a website but if you want to contact them the easiest way would be via the Jen or Graeme at the dive shop. However, if you choose not to stay at Robina House, Helena Goldie hospital will charge you an elective fee so it's worth finding out the costs of everything before you decide.
Here's a link to the hospital website:http://hghospital.jimdo.com/
If you want to go to a 3rd World Country where you get to manage your own patients and run clinics and operate on patients then Helena Goldie probably isn't right for that. There are enough doctors at the hospital to go around really, and so you will not be able to have free reign. However, you will get to assist in operations, and will be asked for your opinion on management of patients during ward rounds. You will also be able to 'essentially' run your own outpatient clinics with one of the other doctors around for help and opinions (to make any final decisions). So you can get a lot out of it if you make the effort. It's a great place to improve your basic examination and diagnostic skills as they don't have even fairly basic blood tests (U&Es, LFTs).
Drs Graham and Jenny have a blog which they update periodically (as their internet access is very limited) which might help you understand a bit more. I'm sure they'd also be happy to be contacted.
The best part of my trip to Munda was the diving! The water is generally warm (30degrees even when 30m down), and the visibility is (usually) incredible. If you've never scuba-dived before I can highly recommend learning with DiveMunda. If you are already a diver then you'll absolutely love it and there's plenty to see. If you prefer snorkelling then you really wont be disappointed and it is cheaper. Tetepare Island is a MUST for a visit - really a wonderful example of responsible tourism. And if you're interested in the WWII history of the Island, then get Barney to take you on a tour (and watch the Pacific TV series).
Dive Munda Website: http://www.mundadive.com/home.htm
|Sunset from Agnes Lodge|