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Audit expat surgeons

Shalveen Chand
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AUDIT visiting expatriate surgeons, says Pacific Islands Surgeons Association president Dr Eddie McCaig.

Speaking at the regional conference for the Pacific Islands Surgeons in Suva yesterday, Dr McCaig said Fiji had seen a rise in the number of surgeons visiting Fiji who were not being audited on the work they had been doing in Fiji.

"What we preach is that anybody doing work in Fiji must have their work audited so in recent times, we have had an audit.

"Every Friday, we sat down and said Dr X, what did you do this week. And we audited his work and there was no holds barred. If you did wrong, we will ask you why," said Dr McCaig.

"Right now, we have dozens of team coming into Fiji working on our people without being audited.

"You don't know what happens when an overseas team comes into Fiji. These people work on our patients in our public system and we pay them."

Dr McCaig highlighted this to be a serious issue for local surgeons as well. He said Fiji had qualified local surgeons doing the same thing as the expatriates.

"So we don't appreciate the locals. Recently, we have sent people to Labasa to work as surgeons but the Ministry of Health has hired an expatriate there.

"There has been zero communication, we don't talk, one of the themes of this conference is building bridges. We want them (Health Ministry) here, we had invited the minister, we invited the director hospital services, the permanent secretary, none of them has turned up.

"The fact remains that we wanted these issues to be discussed.

"Why are you building new hospitals when you can't treat our own people with diabetes, if you get diabetes, you can't get the drugs to treat you with, we don't have any quality control of the drugs, you at any time you cant get an x-ray but you have a fancy MRI machine, we have a world class surgical block at the CWM opened last week.

"Fifteen to 20 years ago, we used to do 10,000 operations a year. We are barely making four or five thousand now.

"Because we don't have the operating theatre, we don't have nurses, they didn't follow us through, we don't have the back-ups, we don't have anaesthetists."


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