A HEALTH crisis within the Fiji Police Force has prompted compulsory quarterly medical checks for the first time in a bid to stem the number of deaths caused by non communicable diseases (NCDs).
Speaking to The Fiji Times while collating data at the Lautoka Police station yesterday, force medical officer Assistant Superintendant of Police Bale Kurabui said the issue was highlighted by the top brass after an increase in the number of deaths attributed to NCDs sparked concerns that a more preventative approach was needed.
"Our commissioner is concerned by the number of deaths in January this year and they are all attributed to NCDs." he said.
"It's a concern and it is a crisis based on the results we have been collecting.
"We used to conduct medical examinations prior to required fitness level (RFL) tests being conducted and found this not to be effective because sometimes we had officers that were not medically fit taking part in the strenuous exercise regime.
"What we are doing now is more of a preventative control measure. By data analysis from these tests, we can demarcate officers that are physically healthy to attend RFL tests and those who are not.
"If they have 30 per cent or more risk of developing cardio-vascular diseases they are counselled about diet and social behaviours that may be contributing to the poor result and ask they be tested in three months time to see if there are any improvements."
Dr Bale said about 60 per cent of the 700 officers in the Western Division had been tested.
The medical team moves to Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki after conducting tests on all officers in the Sugar City.