Venkat Raman in Suva
National Federation Party (NFP) Leader Professor Dr Biman Prasad has promised to create a ‘National Health Services Board’ to improve Fiji’s health sector, which he said suffers from gross neglect and depravity.
Speaking to Indian Newslink at his office in Suva on October 29, 2018, he said that if his Party were to occupy the Treasury benches after the General Election on November 14, 2018, the heath sector would be addressed on priority.
“We will establish a ‘National Health Services Board’ based on the British Model. We will partner with qualified and renowned specialists and medical practitioners to promote a world-class public medial care system. We will also support the ‘Sangam College of Nursing & Health Care Education,’ which is doing a good job,” he said.
Dr Prasad said that Fiji’s health system is pathetic, with no proper diagnosis, blood test and MRI facility. This situation should not be allowed to continue, he said.
Delays in service delivery
A strong advocate of ‘Better Health for a Better Society,’ Dr Prasad told the Fijian Parliament earlier this year that ‘poor health service is blight on Fiji.’
“Patients, especially women and children, wait for more than five hours to see a doctor. The physical condition of many hospitals is shameful. Our hospitals should never run out of essential medicines or basic equipment such as syringes for blood tests. Even the expectation of clean and hygienic conditions at our hospitals is just too high an expectation from this Government,” he said.
Dr Prasad was of the view that medical services in Fiji were under-resourced and that Primary Health Centres were not properly managed.
“The government’s annual (2018-2019) budget has made adequate provision for health services (Indian Newslink, June 15, 2018) but the money is not being well spent. There must be proper management of the allocated resources,” he said.
According to Dr Prasad, although Fiji is the most populous country among the Small Island States in the Pacific, its spending on health is less than 5% of the GDP.
“Our health system is now in utter chaos with little control of the faltering standards,” he said.
Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Suva, Fiji
(Picture Courtesy: DAISI)