Amputation worry

Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar and participants at the NCD symposium.

THIS year, a total of 348 diabetic-related amputations were carried out at the three major divisional hospitals in Fiji.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar revealed this yesterday and said of the total amputations done, 216 were males and 132 were females.

She said statistics from last year showed that a total of 578 diabetes related amputations were done at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, Lautoka Hospital and Labasa Hospital.

CWMH Surgeon Dr Timoci Qereqeretabua, in his presentation said there were diabetes related amputation every 17 hours at the CWM Hospital alone and that diabetes related surgeries accounted for 40 to 50 per cent of a surgeon’s work at CWMH.

He said 47 per cent of those who get a below knee amputation resided within the Suva-Nausori corridor.

Dr Qereqeretabua said diabetes in Fiji was a national crisis for the surgical department in divisional hospitals around the country.

He also said it was out of control and it was consuming a lot of resources and staff.

When questioned on the cost of looking after a diabetic person in hospital, Dr Qereqeretabua said a research was in progress and the research would help to establish the cost of looking after a diabetic person in Fijian hospitals and also the cost it has incurred within the health ministry.

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