ABOUT 40 local medical practitioners have received specialised training at the Sahyadri Group of Hospitals in India.
The training marks an initiative by the Health Ministry to develop local medical personnel to an international standard and reduce the need to bring in overseas experts for major surgeries.
Professor Manu Munibhargav from the group said the training programs were also conducted to ensure local medical personnel were familiarised with the latest equipment brought in by the Sahyadri Group.
After completing their training, the local medics were tasked with assisting visiting specialists from India.
"They have been trained in our hospital in India, free of charge," he said.
"And when our specialists arrive here from India, these trainees are put to work with the visiting team.
"They get hands on training which helps them improve their understanding of the classroom studies."
Prof Munibhargav said training and up-skilling locals were part of a plan by the Health Ministry to ensure the long term sustainability of professional health care services in the country.
"The health and education ministries along with other government agencies are taking the initiative to ensure that Fiji will be self-sufficient once the staff are fully trained.
"The hands-on practical training allows local medical staff to work under the close supervision of department heads and professors so that in due course they will become competent enough to conduct orthopaedic, heart and neuro surgeries by themselves."