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Pay not lucrative

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, January 17, 2014

THE pay packet to lure international doctors to Fiji is not lucrative, says Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.

Speaking in Nadi this week, Dr Sharma said recruiting overseas medical professionals would be ideal for the ministry, but the money wasn't good.

"Someone asked me recently why we can't recruit doctors from abroad?" he said.

"I told them that our pay pack is not very lucrative and competing on the international market, we have not been very successful."

However, Dr Sharma said the government was working on becoming self-sufficient in the health sector.

"We have had a trickle from various other countries and we have to make do with what we have.

"We have to become self-sufficient and that is what is happening at this point in time."

Dr Sharma said staffing at Nadi Hospital was also a key focus of the ministry.

"The issue at this point in time is to right-size the work of our medical professionals at the hospital.

"The nursing numbers are just about right and with the new nurses graduating and taking their registration exams, we should be in a position to have Nadi Hospital at 100 per cent.

"There are 10 doctors allocated to Nadi Hospital.

"However, recently there was a shortfall and I am very grateful to Dr Zen Low and his team of doctors and to Dr Ram Raju for providing support over the next 19 days or so during the peak hours at the hospital, so that we are able to process the 300 or so patients that come to the hospital in a day."

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