Alleged attack irks PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama speaks to schoolchildren of Nasau district in Ra. Picture: SUPPLIED/DEPTFO

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has condemned an alleged attack on a Ministry of Health and Medical Services staff member in Nasau, Ra last week, and warned that those responsible would be taken to task.

He said the alleged abuse was “completely unacceptable”.

“Over the weekend we received reports that one of our medical officers working at the Nasau Health Centre here in Ra was assaulted and threatened while on the job,” he said while opening the government roadshow in Nawairuku, Ra yesterday.

“And that is only the most recent in a string of incidents involving health professionals in Fijian communities.

“The police are actively investigating these matters and will provide regular updates. But I want to take the opportunity this morning to condemn those attacks and assure you that those responsible will be taken to task.

“It is completely unacceptable what’s happening, and I want every health professional and civil servant in the country to know that your care and protection takes chief priority above all else.”
He said the safety of government officials was paramount.

“And we are going to be taking a very hard line with anyone who threatens your safety, or who disrupts your ability to do your jobs.

“I also appeal to every community and to every Fijian to not only join me in condemning this attack, but to discourage the sort of mentalities that breed this criminal behaviour because these crimes are borne from a lack of respect and a lack of values.”

He added members of the public should ensure the safety of government officials who travel from afar to offer government services.

“A lack of respect for the life-saving work carried out by health professionals in Fiji, and a lack of the fundamental values that define the Fijian character — values like honesty, respect and integrity, tolerance, understanding and care for each other, and for the future of our country.”