DOCTORS at Nadi Hospital attend to 120 patients in a single seven-hour shift, says Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.
He said this was a reason behind the appointment of 10 doctors from the Fiji College of General Practitioners.
"There is a staff complement of 10 coming into the hospital," said Dr Sharma.
"We must realise the problem arises at this time of the year when some are leaving and some are coming in.
"When this happens, when some leave, others take a break and then come back so there is a hiatus in between."
Dr Sharma said there had been a reduction in the number of doctors at the hospital.
"So, we've asked our general practitioners, and they have very kindly come in to provide support from 8am to 10am to help reduce the workload and that is working quite well."
Dr Sharma said while the ministry had introduced new strategies to help reduce the workload for each doctor, new ones would be appointed in about a week.
"In about 10 days' time our numbers will again go back to the maximum and we will again be able to cater for our patients.
"At this point in time, we have given them certain strategies in which they can do rounds at certain times more effectively and they can cope with the load within the emergency department."
He said while the ministry addressed the issue of shortages, the public also had a role to play to ensure services were delivered.
"We need the public to understand these are issues that we are trying to address and it's not due to a doctor not wanting to work."