Negligence In Fiji Hospitals Subject Of Questions By Labour Party Leader

Infant death in Lautoka Hospital just latest of a number of cases: Chaudhry

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 14, 2017) – The Fiji Labour Party says the recent death of a newborn at the Lautoka Hospital questions the state of Fiji's health care facilities.

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said while authorities were investigating the death, there were questions on the frequency of such reports coming out of hospitals and clinics.

"Almost every day we hear of negligence at our hospitals, of people losing lives as a result of wrong diagnosis, chronic shortage of not only lifesaving drugs but also basic medicines, hospital supplies and of course experienced medical personnel," he said.

An infant died on Tuesday at the Lautoka Hospital and a video that has since gone viral was posted of a supposed family member arguing with hospital staff members.

"The provision of efficient, competent and adequately equipped health care services is one of the basic responsibilities of a caring government," said Mr Chaudhry.

Speaking at a press conference to clarify issues surrounding the infant's death, permanent secretary for the Ministry Health and Medical Services, Philip Davis, said the child was stillborn and added that Fiji's record for stillbirths was below global estimations.

"We believe the services that are offered are good. If you look at the area of stillbirths we are doing two thirds of the global rate and I think that's testament to how well our services do perform," he said.

"Globally, it is estimated that around 1.5 per cent of pregnancies result in a stillbirth.

"That means there may be more than 7000 stillbirths every day across the world although rates have reduced by about one fifth during the present century. Sadly, stillbirths are often unpredictable and unavoidable.

"Looking at data for Fiji, we know that around one in every 100 pregnancies in Fiji results in a stillbirth.

"That compares extremely well with the global rate — one per cent in Fiji compared with 1.5 per cent across the world — and is a clear indication of how well our doctors and nurses work to protect the health of women and babies during their pregnancy and birth.

"We should all acknowledge and be grateful for their achievements."

Fiji Times Online.
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