The senior command of the Fiji Police Force were briefed by the Australian Federal Police’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Katrina Sanderson about the importance of Health Literacy as studies have revealed that Police officers are seven times the risk of having a fatal cardiac disease.
In a zoom meeting held this past week, the Acting Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu and senior members of the command group were given an overview of the work conducted by Dr Sanders since joining as the AFP’s Chief Medical Officer in 2015 in transforming the AFPs approach to organizational health and safety and wellbeing.
Dr Sanders said it was important to change the executive thinking to take any policing institution into the new area of occupational medicine and welfare. “What we had to do is ask leadership to recognize that the risk in the law enforcement agencies translates to health conditions including high emotional stress, physical and mental stress and that these could lead to greater health risks for police officers”.
“Studies have shown that police officers are about seven times the risk of having a fatal cardiac disease and the importance of incorporating Health Literacy which is generally low in most policing institutions”.
The zoom meeting was organized by AFP Liaison Officers based in Fiji to assist Fiji Police’s efforts in addressing overall health issues faced by the institution and to help with programs specifically targeting the psychological wellbeing of an officer. Dr Sanders said addressing health in policing is complex with both personal and professional demands.
The Acting Commissioner acknowledged the support of the AFP in coming on board to assist the Fiji Police address vital health and wellbeing issues faced by the institution.