Work not affecting Friends

THE Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation is optimistic their medical team based at the Lautoka Hospital will not be affected by ongoing refurbishment work at the premises.

Foundation chairman Craig Strong said while this may provide some constraints, it would not stop the team from providing the best medical service.

The team from New Zealand will be in Lautoka for two weeks carrying out surgeries on heart patients.

“We have three heart surgeons who will do the valve work and basically, they will work through as efficiently as they can on a case by case basis,” he said.

“We had Dr Reuben Gabriel, who was in Lautoka last week, do the pre-screening work then.”

He said the team was growing by the year, as a lot of repeat volunteers were coming to Fiji.

“We bring two container loads of equipment which is purchased in New Zealand.

“Each mission, if you put a price tag on it, totals about $1million. The equipment is brought and returned to New Zealand.

“The staff even bring their own gowns and scrubs when they come to Fiji.”

According to Mr Strong, the types of heart conditions in Fiji are very similar because of the diet.

“One of the things we want to focus on with the help of Ministry of Health is an education program on NCDs.”

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