Company Looks At Developing Medical Tourism In Fiji

Tertiary health care faciltiies for local Fijians part of investment plan

By Avinesh Gopal

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 8, 2016) – A medical company is trying to develop medical tourism in Fiji and make tertiary health care facilities for Fijians.

Sahyadri Specialty Pacific Hospitals Limited Fiji director Professor Manu Munibhargav said investing into the facilities and making medical tourism in Fiji possible was not a problem.

"Putting in $300 or $400 million for these is not an issue but there are other issues," he said.

Mr Munibhargav said there were some challenges to make medical tourism possible as the medical sector was something completely different.

He said there would be a need for specialised medical staff and a lot of back-up medical facilities  would need to be created.

"Apart from these challenges, there is a need for local support too. It's very difficult for the private sector locally to be involved with a huge investment.

"In a country like Fiji, medical tourism needs to be developed considering all various factors like purchasing power of people, education, culture, geographical situation etc.

"We cannot have medical tourism like advanced countries as the purchasing power in Fiji and neighbouring countries is not that strong for long term sustainability with reference to investments."

Mr Munibhargav said in Fiji, medical tourism could be developed to a certain extent and that too in certain medical disciplines.

"We are trying to do as much as possible in the available set of circumstances for the development of medical tourism as well as making tertiary care facilities for the local Fiji population. These facilities will be for open heart surgery, neurosurgery, advanced orthopaedic, etc.

"This will be under our joint venture agreement with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

"Medical tourism in Fiji will be medium profile," said Mr Munibhargav.

SSPHL Fiji has a joint venture agreement with the Health and Medical Services Ministry for the provision of certain medical services in the country.

For the past few years, the company has been bringing in specialists from India to conduct open heart surgeries on adult patients in Fiji and have also done some joint replacement surgeries.

The company has also been bringing in specialists to do free screening of patients for orthopaedic cases and oncology, mainly cancer in women, with the most recent screenings held around the country from late July to early August.

It also provides other services to the ministry as far as health care is concerned.

Fiji Times Online.
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