24 Mar 2009

New fears of nursing exodus from Fiji

2:33 pm on 24 March 2009

Fiji's Nurses Association fears more experienced staff will leave in droves after the interim government successfully moved to lower the retirement age and policy changes introduced to the National Provident Fund (NPF).

The association's general secretary, Kuini Lutua, says it's a real concern for the state of the nation's healthcare which government must address now.

She says ensuring that qualified and experienced staff don't leave Fiji is crucial as it would be detrimental to Fiji's work force.

The retirement age in Fiji has lowered from 60 to 55, and the NPF has made changes that greatly affect any withdrawals from the Fund.

Kuini Lutua says many nurses and health staff are already considering leaving the country, as incentives to stay aren't there.

"If workers were not given increments they weren't given incentives to perform at a higher level and slowly it sort of allows our people to lose hope in the civil service. So because of that a lot of our workers have left the country and I'm afraid with a lot of these other policies coming in - the retirement age and also new policies around the superannuation fund, its going to affect a lot of decisions of the individual."