DOCTOR SHORTAGE GROWS IN FIJI

admin's picture

By Raijieli Kikau

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 11, 2002 – Fiji Timers)---Doctors have suggested the closure of one of the largest hospitals in the country because there are too few physicians.

The Labasa Hospital has been without enough doctors for the past two years.

Acting Medical Superintendent Doctor Frederick Rowland said the hospital is understaffed and services to patients are badly affected.

"If I was the medical superintendent, I would close down the hospital because there are not enough staff to cater for the great demand by patients,'' Dr. Rowland said. He said every department was short of more than two doctors and "it is an absolute disaster.''

He said the Ministry of Health told them last year they would deploy more Filipino doctors to the hospital but nothing had happened.

Dr. Rowland said Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Luke Rokovada went to The Philippines two years ago to recruit physicians.

"There is a need to seriously look into the problem because firstly they have to recruit the doctors and the government should find the money to pay them,'' he said.

Mr. Rokovada and Health Minister Pita Nacuva were not available for comment yesterday. Messages left on their mobile phones were not answered.

Patients in Labasa said they were fed up with the inefficient services at the hospital.

Bulileka resident Parma Nand said he went to the hospital on Tuesday but was not seen until Wednesday afternoon.

"I came at 8 am and I was given number 124 and at 4 pm, there were no doctors at the outpatients department to attend to the patients so I went back home,'' Mr. Nand said. He returned at 7 am on Wednesday and was given number 84. Mr. Nand was checked and given medication for his swollen feet.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment