Healthcare targets

HEALTH and Medical Services Minister Rosy Akbar is meeting senior management staff to improve service delivery in hospitals.

She conducted a meeting with senior nurses in the Central Division last week to discuss the issue.

“I have given them my expectations and basically that is to uplift the service delivery,” she said.

“If we can improve on that, the service delivery bit, the change in attitude and the way we address the concerns of patients that come to the hospital, I think we should be able to address the minor issues.”

She acknowledged complaints received from members of the public regarding the attitudes of some medical personnel in hospitals around the country.

“I think what I need to look at now is motivating the staff and keep reminding them of their roles because the health sector is where you need the right attitude, simple as that.”

Ms Akbar is also involved in negotiations on the hire of additional private practitioners to ease waiting times at hospitals.

Earlier this month, two practitioners began their temporary shifts at the Nadi Hospital.

According to Ms Akbar, they received positive feedback from the Fiji Council of General Practitioners regarding the temporary placements.

“Talks are ongoing and we are trying to get a pool of doctors so negotiations are ongoing.”

She said positions of nurses had been advertised and expected to be finalised by late December to early January.

“That should ease our work as well.”

Ms Akbar said she expected a report on how the general practitioners placed at Nadi Hospital were faring in a couple of weeks.

“I gave them a time frame of six weeks so my next visit will be in about three weeks.

“I have been told that the work, especially the renovation at the old wing (at Nadi Hospital), has started and it will take a little time.

“Locums (practitioners) have been deployed there and now our focus is Nausori.”

Ms Akbar said from Nausori, they would move on to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

She said the locum appointments were being done on a needs basis.

Meanwhile, Ms Akbar said the ministry was working to address the issue of medicine shortage.

Ms Akbar said a shipment of the latest batch of medicine was expected into the country towards the end of November.

However, she said, measures were in place to ensure critical medicine was delivered sooner, possibly in about four weeks.

She said the shortage could be attributed to the high demand for medication following Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

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