19 July, 2017, 12:00 am
We continue to praise our Prime Minister for his assurance that Fijians deserve the best health-care system that has the capacity and expertise to provide proper advice and treatment (FT 18/7).
His words of encouragement while launching the tenth gastroenterology training program at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva on Monday, would indeed make Fiji the way the world should be if his assurances and wishes do become reality.
Just a while ago, the Health Minister was on the defensive saying that the Health Ministry and its personnel should not be blamed for the sickness and woes that plaque the nation, as they are doing their very best in their performance and delivery.
However, the 2016 Auditor-General’s Report revealed that an unclaimed container of medicine consigned for the Fiji Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Services was left at the Port of Suva for 253 days before it was finally cleared by the Ministry of Economy’s Fiji Procurement Office (FPO) (FT 14/7).
I believe while the container went through human blunder and red tape during the 253 days, the Health Ministry made public that there was a shortage of medicine in Fiji and Fijians suffered.
We all know that our Prime Minister has the power to make things happen and had he known about this container blunder, he would have fast-tracked its release.
This issue may be water under the bridge now but it is a health lesson for our leaders. In matters of national importance, top priority must be given and if there are any hassles, notify number one.
His message on Monday kind of gives the assurance that the container blunder will not be repeated, as his Government is committed to making our healthcare options affordable, so we can access the check-ups, medications and other services that keep us healthy.