AN average of $600 a day is spent on keeping one patient in a hospital bed in the country.
Thats the same cost as a room in any of the countrys five-star hotels, said Colonial War Memorial Hospitals consultant surgeon Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.
He revealed the cost at the Fiji Health Symposium which ended in Suva yesterday afternoon.
We need to put in place a system which reduces the time patients spend in hospital while providing them with quality care. We need to cut costs, not cut corners, he said.
Dr Waqainabete said studies of the National Health Service in the UK showed that cost-cutting and increased productivity were possible with shorter hospital stays.
He said it was essential that doctors made quick, informed decisions on patient treatment, ensuring a shortened time between consultation, admission, tests, procedures, recovery and discharge.
We need to manage patients from day one and prepare them for discharge.
By getting patients up and walking around as soon as possible after surgery, we can reduce the length of hospital stay by 25 per cent.
Dr Waqainabete reminded participants at the symposium that they all had a role to play in reducing health care costs.