Government has given up on Health
Updated: Nov 30, 2021
November 8, 2021
STATE OF DECAY
The state of decay of the public hospitals and health facilities as well as its inability to provide decent medical care to the people is a scourge on the nation.
As the Covid-19 crisis subsides, the basic problems of Fiji’s health system once again return to view. We receive phone calls and emails on a daily basis about serious issues in the hospitals and health centres around the country.
Hospitals lack basic medicine. Tests cannot be done because of a lack of basic testing equipment and materials. Anything above basic outpatient care is becoming a challenge including kidney dialysis in the Western Division.
The angiogram at CWM is not working. We are told patients requiring tests relating for kidney ailments are referred by CWHM doctors to a private based specialist.
Two weeks ago we visited the National Kidney and Research Centre only to find it closed and used syringes and needles coated with blood lying outside in a yellow bag. Repeated calls to the Centre remain unanswered.
The Health Minister should inform the people whether the Centre is fully functional and is providing subsidised dialysis to patients.
Hospital buildings and outbuildings are in such a shocking state that it is impossible even to keep them clean, a basic need for any health facility.
Doctors, nurses and patients and their families highlight to us the decay in our health facilities, hoping we can bring attention to this. Many families of patients tell us that they only find out how bad these are when they end up there. If you are poor and uninsured you are in a worse situation. Lack of simple medicines, equipment and diagnostic facilities is literally condemning people to death.
How has it come to this? We know. Our government is focused on photo opportunities, globetrotting and handing out freebies. It does not care what takes place out of sight of the cameras.
The government’s disastrous Covid-19 measures led to world-beating infection rates and caused hundreds of deaths – both from the disease and from denied health care. This overwhelmed and hollowed out our health system. Months ago, however, we received hundreds of millions of dollars from Japan, Australia and New Zealand in loans and grants. How much of this money has been re-invested in our health system?
From what we can see, the Government has just given up. We need a fresh approach to our health system, focused both on meeting people’s immediate needs and long-term prevention of the basic NCDs that continue to burden our hospitals and health centres.
That will not come from the Fiji First Party.