We need to take decisive action before health and medical services reach emergency level state of de
August 6, 2022
The exodus of doctors and nurses, dysfunctional operating theatres leading to delaying of elective surgeries, malfunctioning equipment leading to outsourcing of diagnostic tests and forcing patients to get tested at private facilities shows the country’s public health and medical services and delivery is in a state of decay, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
Professor Prasad said in government after the elections, an urgent inquiry will be held and a national summit of all stakeholders will be convened on the deteriorating health service delivery in Fiji to collectively overcome this huge challenge.
The NFP Leader said information relayed to him that has been corroborated with multiple sources in the health and medical fraternity show how the Fiji First government has been misleading the people of Fiji.
He said it was astounding that despite the bleak reality, government could still afford to paint a rosy picture in terms of the so-called progress and achievements in the provision of both service and delivery of health and medical care in public hospitals and health centres.
“The fact of the matter is that the reality is startlingly different”.
“We are told 25 nurses have resigned in the last two months. In the first 6 months of this year, 50 doctors, most of them young, have applied to the Fiji College of General Practitioners to enter general practice when normally in a year it averages 5 to 6 doctors only”.
“One of the reasons it is happening is that our nurses and doctors are rostered to work for 12 hours per shift instead of the normal 8 hours. And in densely populated areas like the Suva-Nausori corridor, it becomes intolerable when they are forced to work between 50-72 hours per week”.
“Only 3 out of the 11 operating theatres at Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWM) are operational and only emergency surgeries are performed”.
“All elective surgeries, which are also important, have been delayed with no timeframe when the patients can be operated upon”.
“In hospitals in the Western Division, worryingly the major ones like Lautoka and Ba, which are now managed by Aspen under the Public Private Partnership, as well as Nadi, diagnostic tests, albeit it basic, aren’t done with patients referred to a well-known general practitioner in private practice”.
“Worse, the Attorney-General and Economy Minister’s announcement on 24th March this year while handing down the Revised 2021-22 budget, when he said heart surgeries would be performed at Lautoka Hospital from early May, is clearly a lie”.
“The Economy Minister said: -
“From early May, open-heart surgeries will be available at the Lautoka Hospital –– marking the first time in history that this procedure will be available all days of the year in Fiji. Other benefits will be added in the coming months including Cardiac catheterisation, chemotherapy and renal dialysis”.
“Why lie and raise the people’s hopes?”
“Whilst both he and the Prime Minister could afford to take the earliest flight out of Fiji to seek medical treatment, the people are compelled into facing delays and non-availability of treatment announced by their government, that turns out to be a shameful gimmick”.
“This cruel and heartless government, lacking any compassion and care, will be booted out because the power of the powerless will ensure this happens at the polling booth”.