Shortage worries

OBTAINING state-of-the art biomedical equipment is one of the top three priority areas listed by health ministries across the Pacific region during all major meetings.

However, while equipment was prioritised, sometimes ensuring the competency of workers maintaining and using the gear was not the top priority of countries, says Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Services associate dean Dr Berlin Kafoa.

To address issues such as this, a training workshop was organised by FNU’s Strengthening Specialised Clinical Services in the Pacific at Westin Resort on Denarau this week.

He said one group of health workers that was extremely short in numbers were biomedical technicians.

“This group of workers look after your CT scans and X-ray machines,” Dr Kafoa said.

“We have this meeting once a year to bring the specialists across the region together to have discussions on things that will help each other and their own countries.”

According to Dr Kafoa, the participants of the workshop had spent the past couple of days familiarising themselves on regional issues and technical training.

“Three out of the five days is spent on technical training.

“This is important as they update themselves as the countries develop, they buy new machines.

“They also learn how they can look after the machines.

“This will allow doctors and nurses to provide appropriate care to our people.”

Dr Kafoa said in terms of the workforce, they were trying to build up on the number of biomedical technicians in the region.