Fiji Time: 1:38 AM on Monday 18 December

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Be patient, says Akbar

Felix Chaudhary
Monday, September 25, 2017

PEOPLE visiting health centres and hospitals need to be patient, says Health and Medical Services Minister Rosy Akbar.

Speaking to Hindu devotees at the national convention of Sathya Sai Service Organisation of Fiji in Ba on Saturday, she said people needed to understand that Government was doing its best to provide enough doctors to cope with the ever-increasing demand at public health care facilities.

"When I visit health centres, people come up and say to me they have been waiting for half an hour or two hours and I do understand," she said.

"When you go to a health facility you want to be treated, you don't go there for a picnic, you go there for a doctor to see you.

"But the reality of the situation in Fiji is that we are faced with doctor shortages. We have HR (human resource) issues and we are trying to fill those gaps, so until we fill all our doctor positions in the country, waiting times will be a reality.

"As a Government we are taking steps to address the issue because we don't have enough doctors in the public sector.

"We get doctors from the private sector and we have a lot of locum arrangements with private facilities where they come and provide service during peak hours.

"Surprisingly, people still aren't satisfied."

Ms Akbar said compared with more developed countries, Fiji's accident and emergency department in hospitals was doing exceptionally well.

"If you go to the emergency department in Australia or New Zealand, you can wait for more than two or three hours.

"Here, as soon as you reach our emergency department, the doctors are there to see you, so we are making progress.

"Please acknowledge what we have in a developing country like Fiji, one day we will reach the level of service delivery people are expecting."

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