Alisi Vucago –
An Auckland based surgeon, who has been performing free surgeries in the country for the past 10 years, says that Fiji has the potential to be the main Cardiology Centre in the Pacific.
Cardiologist Dr Albert Ko is from Ascot Hospital in Auckland and performed Fiji’s first angioplasty at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) on April 6, 2011.
“Since the first angioplasty, there has not been much development in terms of equipment. However, the local staff are very good people who have been trained by us. They are just as good as those in Australia and New Zealand, but these people need a career pathway, they need to know where they are headed towards in terms of salaries, training prospects, upskilling themselves and acquiring the best interest in their jobs,” he said.
Dr Ko said that Fiji had the capability to provide services on a level comparable to Australia and New Zealand, so that patients from Pacific Island countries would pay a lower cost to receive treatment in this country.
He said that he performed 40 surgical procedures with the local medical team at CWM Hospital in one week, showing that Fiji had the capability and potential to make something very little into something big.
Dr Ko said that in order that Fiji can gain the recognition it deserves in the Pacific, the government must step in and help develop and support the cardiology unit.
He said that the objective behind the efforts was to ensure cardiology services in Fiji were easily available, cheap and increase the standards of healthcare in the country.
“I know a lot of Chinese here in Fiji who travel all the way to China for treatment but we have to let them know that we have a really good cardiac unit so you don’t have to go anywhere else,” Dr Ko said.
Dr Albert Ko sent us the above article, which appeared in the Fiji Times issue dated March 13, 2017. Indian Newslink will carry a detailed article and pictures in a future issue.
Photo: Dr Albert Ko