HEALTH Minister Doctor Neil Sharma says he has ordered an investigation into the death of a 65-year-old Nadi man.
He said he had spoken to staff at the hospital and also visited the family of the deceased.
Shiu Ram Rajwar of Solovi, Nadi, was rushed to the Nadi Hospital on Saturday at 8pm.
However, upon arrival at the hospital, family members were informed by the nurses that the doctor scheduled to be on duty could not be contacted.
Mr Rajwar was alleged to have died after suffering cardiac arrest at 11pm.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Health, a female doctor was scheduled to commence her shift at 8pm but initial inquiries revealed that she had failed to report for duty.
"This is an extraordinary state of affairs and I have ordered a full investigation. If, as it seems, there has been any dereliction of duty, the consequences for the doctor involved will be severe," said Dr Sharma.
Dr Sharma said he had offered his deepest regrets and condolences to the man's family and has ordered a review of protocols at the hospital to ensure that the incident would not be repeated.