a group of former Fiji residents who are health professionals provided medical clinics to about 80 patients in Labasa this week.
Accompanied by some of their colleagues in New Zealand, members of the Friends of Fiji Health organisation brought a sigh of relief and smiles to the patients with their medical clinics, advice and surgeries.
One of the organisation's trustees and general surgeon Dr Rishi Ram told this newspaper on Wednesday night they had visited Fiji for the past four years.
"Three of our earlier trips were made to the Lautoka Hospital and now we have decided to come to Labasa Hospital to provide our service here free of charge," Dr Ram said.
"The team is made up of doctors, nurses and other health experts who have a common goal of assisting local experts with their work. Since our arrival to the hospital last Thursday, we have continued to medically examine patients.
"We conducted surgeries on some of them (patients) but because of the time constraints and the lack of resources, we weren't able to operate on all of the patients who were recommended for surgery.
"We will leave behind the medical items and equipment we brought with us to supplement the supplies locally. This is part of our efforts to reach out to the people here and we are really glad to have provided our service to the people here.
"This is a form of giving back to the community we once lived in."
Dr Ram added their trip would not have been possible through the kind support from corporate bodies, individuals and the support of their families back in New Zealand.
Friends of Fiji Health is a New Zealand-registered charity organisation that was established in July 2010.