PROFESSOR BIMAN PRASAD, National
Federation Party leader
NFP will ensure medical care that is focused on compassion, respect and dignity for all citizens. NFP will ensure clinical care is delegated to Empowered Health Specialists Group for standard practice, equal care levels throughout Fiji. All citizens will have access to the same quality of care. NFP will reduce waiting time currently experienced. Fiji needs joined up private-public sector solutions to modernise medical facilities and equipment, to use new technologies, including telemedicine, to extend services to island communities, and reduce costs of private and public sector drugs through bulk purchasing. NFP will implement a new salary structure for nurses and doctors within six months of being in government.
AMAN RAVINDRA-SINGH, Peoples w
Democratic Party, general secretary
THE current conditions in government hospitals are appalling. There is a shortage of doctors and nurses, lack of medicine and equipment and generally the conditions are of serious concern. The waiting time for Fijians in the outpatients is from four to eight hours on a good day and beyond eight hours on a bad day. Health care is a human rights issues and it is the government's responsibility to see that our people get decent health care. Today we are far from that and all we have seen is that the conditions have deteriorated in the past eight years.
ROSHIKA DEO, Independent candidate,
Be the Change campaign leader
MENTAL health services need to be integrated. Wider consultations with public health care service users are needed before development of policies and allocation of resources. Decentralised systems are ill equipped and inadequately resourced, creating a financial and emotional burden on the people that access these services. The complaints mechanism in the health care sector needs to be improved. We need a proper system of well resourced community and outer islands dispensaries and health care workers. Medication should be made available for free for people on social welfare benefits. Ambulance services should be free and readily available for isolated communities.
MAHENDRA CHAUDHRY, Fiji Labour Party
leader/ general secretary
THOSE admitted to public hospitals have to take their own blankets, pillows and even mosquito nets. Many new fees have been introduced which penalise the poor (mortuary, birth and death notifications etc.) Shortage of doctors and paramedics have become chronic. Degenerative diseases are taking a heavy toll. The mortality rate among adults in Fiji is three times that in Australia and New Zealand. We will establish a comprehensive National Health Care scheme with FNPF and the private sector to address chronic problems plaguing our health system. One of the major areas of attention will be revamping our Primary Health Care.
JESE SIKIVOU, Social Democratic and
Liberal Party, communications director
THE SODELPA government will provide good quality affordable health care that is relevant to the needs of the nation, provide access to cost effective quality medicines and determine key retention strategies to retaining qualified, skilled and experienced health professionals. SODELPA will take preventative measures to improve health and medical care particularly in combating NCDs and other health-related problems that people are more susceptible to. SODELPA will gain Capital Improvements through repairs and maintenance of the current hospital and medical unit infrastructure. Providing approved alternative/traditional medicine alternatives as part of the overall health care system.
DR NEIL SHARMA, Health Minister
I confirm receipt of the questions sent by The Fiji Times and will make a comment at a later date.