13 Feb 2006

Shortage of anaesthetists in Fiji puts surgery on hold

10:21 am on 13 February 2006

A severe shortage of anaesthetists at Fiji's Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva has caused a backlog of more than 100 surgical cases.

The Sunday Times reports that the hospital is performing only emergency operations with the help of four private anaesthetists and four from Bangladesh who have only just arrived in the country.

Only two of the four operating theatres in the hospital are being used, with the director of Central Eastern Health Services, Dr Salimoni Tuqa, saying the shortage of anaesthetists is expected to continue for some time.

Dr Tuqa is quoted as saying all booked surgery will have to wait until the staff situation improves.

The president of the Fiji College of General Practitioners, Dr Wahid Khan, says poor management is the cause of such problems, which are an ongoing issue.

Meanwhile, water borne diseases are being reported in epidemic proportions around Labasa in the Northern Division after two consecutive weeks of flooding.

The Labasa Hospital reports treating up to 30 cases of diarrhoea and 100 cases of influenza every day.