Minister of Health and Medical Services, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete recently visited sub-divisional facilities in Tavua, Ba and Lautoka and has directed renovations and upgrades to key health centers and nursing stations.
These include an expansion of the Nadarivatu Health Centre’s morgue, and renovations of the Balevuto Health Centre’s waiting area and morgue in rural Ba, as well as to the patient ward and waiting area of the Tavua Hospital, where he also requested that security be tightened to address safety issues raised by resident doctors.
Concerns about security and trespassing were also noted while touring medical facilities in Ba.
“One of the issues we face with health facilities is that the community sometimes don’t appreciate the health facility and so they trespass and put staff at risk,” he said.
The Minister noted the growing number of female doctors alongside nurses who are transferred to rural facilities.
“When our staff are at risk and are anxious, they cannot do their job well. When we have an anxious or fearful doctor or nurse, they won’t be able to do their job well and while we are talking about security in terms of fencing etc, the community itself need to make sure they look after the staff.”
Dr Waqainabete’s visitations included a tour of the new Ba Hospital, which has recently been completed and due to be equipped by Aspen Medical Pty Ltd following the signing of a public-private partnership with the Fijian Government.
“A significant amount of money has been put into this, it is state of the art and probably the best hospital at the moment. We look forward to the public private partnership. This will be a game changer not only for people in Ba but also for Fiji,” the Minister said.
He indicated that plans were still underway about the use of Ba Mission Hospital after the new hospital becomes operational.
The Minister’s visits included traditional courtesy calls at the chiefly villages of Sorokoba and Nailaga in Ba, and at Nadrau and Lewa villages, which come under the rural subdivisional expanse of Tavua.