Public health and medical services and their delivery in Fiji are in a “state of disrepair”, says the leader of the National Federation Party, Professor Biman Prasad.
He said the exodus of doctors and nurses, dysfunctional operating rooms causing elective surgeries to be delayed, malfunctioning equipment leading to outsourcing of diagnostic tests and forcing patients to be tested at facilities private testify to this.
Prof Prasad said the information given to him and corroborated by multiple sources in the health and medical fraternities shows how the FijiFirst government has misled the people of Fiji.
He said that in government after the elections, an urgent inquiry would be organized and a national summit of all stakeholders would be convened into the deterioration of health service delivery in Fiji to collectively overcome this enormous challenge.
He said it was amazing that despite the bleak reality the government could still afford to paint a rosy picture in terms of so-called progress and achievements in service delivery and health care delivery and medical services in public hospitals and health centres. .
“The fact is, the reality is startlingly different,” he said.
“We are told that 25 nurses have resigned in the past two months. In the first six months of this year, 50 doctors, mostly young, applied to the Fiji College of General Practitioners to enter general practice when there are normally on average only five to six doctors per year.
“One of the reasons why this is happening is that our nurses and doctors are being called on to work 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 and 72 hours a week.
“Only three of the 11 operating theaters at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWM) are operational and only emergency surgeries are performed.
“All elective surgeries, which are also important, have been delayed without delay to operate on patients.
“At the larger Western Division hospitals, worryingly large like Lautoka and Ba, which are now run by Aspen under the public-private partnership, as well as Nadi, diagnostic tests, although basic, are not being carried out. with patients referred to a well-known general practitioner in private practice.
“This cruel and heartless government, devoid of all compassion and care, will be kicked out because the power of the powerless will ensure it happens in the voting booth.”
Questions addressed to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama remained unanswered at the time of going to press.