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World-class health care

Ana Madigibuli
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

MIOT Pacific Hospitals has brought into the country world class health care which would see Fijian patients treated with positive outcomes at an affordable price.

MIOT International managing director Dr Prithvi Mohandas said during the launch that Fiji had a lot to offer in terms of medical care and it was important to look into the urgent and emergency care in the country.

"Now talking about problems that are peculiar to Fiji which are many, when it comes to health care it is important to understand that success breeds success," Dr Mohandas said.

"Fiji needs world class health care and it has similar problems to what India had when it was a new and growing country in the 70s. When we look at the disease pattern in Fiji, we had to see what we can do first and what our first step would be. So we looked into treating people who cannot wait for treatment because it would not have a successful outcome. That is the reason why we decided to look at urgent care and emergency care.

"When you look at urgent and emergency care, the most important bit of it is that it's required at any time.

"A patient requiring urgent care cannot visit the hospital between 8am to 5pm on the weekday, the patient might come in during the weekend, the patient might come in during a public holiday or the patient might come in at 3am.

"My country, a poor country is able to give 24/7 hour service (in 365 days) providing world class health care to destitute people. Why can't we do that in Fiji, at least to start with urgent care?

"So when we looked at this area of urgent care, we looked at what we needed. We needed staff who were experienced, who could recognise your urgent need immediately and could administer the complete treatment within 24 hours in seven days.

"We needed equipment that could quickly diagnose a Fijian patient who did not have a past medical history or detailed medical records that are available in developed countries."

He said the number one priority was making this lifesaving treatment accessible to all Fijians.

"If it's possible in India where there are many people living in poverty it should be possible in Fiji, that is why we have this model in place where we have the best equipment in the world in this unit," he said.

"We have the best staff available internationally in this unit with a Fijian counterpart at every level of care so eventually this will be a Fijian service run by Fijians for Fijians.

"When all of these went on in our minds and we looked at the scenario that we would be able to present, one phrase stuck with me, to give Fiji space age medicine at Stone Age price.

"If you look at our pricing you would probably have to come to our urgent care facility.

"A CT Angio in Fiji is cheaper than a CT Angio in Madras India and the CT Angio's in Fiji is done on a machine that is two generation ahead of the machine in Madras India.

"So a CT Angio in Fiji is $US250 ($F500). If you have a loved one who has a high risk of heart disease or who is suffering from high blood pressure or is diabetic and who is worried or are at risk, it is accessible for you to have a calcium score, to have your heart blood vessels looked at (inside and out) on stone age price of $F500.

"When I thought about these I was determined that every entity of pricing not just for the heart, but for a road traffic accident, a multiple injured patient, a patient on a ventilator or a patient that had to stay for 14 days should be accessible to the poorest of the poor in Fiji.

"Therefore the remit of the emergency department at the MIOT Pacific Hospitals is not to charge you more but to give you a package that includes everything up front so that it is possible for you to afford a service and you're confident that after you pay, there is nothing more to collect on the day you have to leave the hospital- that is our promise and we will stick to it."

He said MIOT had bigger plans and that was to be a 150 bed unit in 18 months' and to increase to a 300 bed unit in three years too.

"Our goal is to provide postgraduate medical education and cooperate with the Health Ministry to award postgraduate specialist degrees so the service is completely run by local specialist for patients for the best possible price and the best possible care," he said.

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