"WE all know that the health system in Fiji is not as good as it should be given years of neglect, but we are determined to improve it."
These were the words of Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in his national budget address on Thursday.
With health being a prime area of focus for government, Commodore Bainimarama allocated an additional $15million to the Health Ministry, up from $152m.
"These funds will allow the ministry to cover operational costs and improve existing services, equipment, and infrastructure," he said.
"We have allocated $900,000 for the in-service training program, which provides continuing training for our medical personnel." Commodore Bainimarama said the government would re-launch the Community Health Worker Scheme to improve health services in remote areas and $210,000 has been set aside for the program.
$4m has been provided for major upgrades of health centres across the country, while $900,000 has been allocated for minor repairs.
"Major capital works are planned for 2013, which include the extension of the Sigatoka Hospital."
He said new health centre would be constructed in Cuvu, Nadroga, and extension works would be undertaken at the Keiyasi Health Centre.
"In addition, new nursing stations and staff quarters will be built in Nayavuira, Raviravi in Beqa, Lakeba, Tonia, Bagasau and Cikobia."