Deteriorating Health - NFP Leader claims health budget increase will not improve services
Updated: Jul 26
Friday 24th July 2020
The National Federation Party claims the $46.8 million increase to the Budget of Ministry of Health and Medical Services will fail to arrest the deteriorating state of health and medical services in our public hospitals.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad claims the $46.8 million increase to the budget, ballooning it to $394 million from $347 million allocation in the 2019-20 Budget also includes COVID-19 Contingency Fund of $25 million.
“As usual that allocation like many others is under Requisition but it means that the health budget has increased by only $21.8 million if one excludes this allocation of $25 million”.
“This will see the continuation of the pathetic state of facilities like toilets and washrooms in our hospitals. We will see the continuation of patients being turned away because some public hospitals have run out reagents to test blood”.
“And we will see patients being asked to buy basic consumables like bandages and plasters and even bottles for testing urine samples. Patients will be told to buy medication from private pharmacies because hospital pharmacies have run out of stock”.
“These are reports that we receive daily from people visiting public hospitals. This is the reality on the ground. Yet this Government has since the resumption of parliamentary democracy in October 2014, has turned a blind eye to the concerns raised by us in parliament”.
“Furthermore, the Economy Minister’s announcement during the budget that the partnership with Aspen Australia has been delayed by one year is further indication of the colossal failure of the public private partnership to improve Lautoka and Ba Hospitals”.
“This deal, first announced in March 2018 and formalised in November 2018 following the inclusion of Fiji National Provident Fund to have 80% partnership (Aspen 20%) in a new company, never got off the ground”.
“Aspen had more than a year to identify all areas of improvements in the two hospitals but nothing was done. The new Ba hospital remains a white elephant and totally closed”.
“With the Minister’s announcement of another delay by one year, this means further deterioration of services at these two hospitals. And it is more than likely that this public private partnership will collapse as it was doomed to fail from the start”.