27 Jul 2007

Fiji doctors concerned about effect of nurses' strike on patients' safety

10:25 am on 27 July 2007

Two doctors' organisations in Fiji have expressed grave concern at the risk to patients' lives as nurses continue their strike into its third day.

The Fiji Times quotes an executive of the General Practitioners Association, Dr Neil Sharma, as saying the government needs to solve the impasse with the nurses in the interest of patients.

Dr Sharma says doctors have their limitations and it is nurses who play a major role in the day to day care of patients.

The president of the Fiji Medical Association, Dr James Fong, also says unless the strike is resolved, there will be a significant risk to patients' lives.

Dr Fong says doctors have had to take on nursing roles as the system tries to cope with the situation but this cannot be sustained for any length of time.

Meanwhile, there are reports of relatives of patients taking their sick home from hospitals, mothers being turned away from maternity units and two bodies being left unattended outside the Colonial War Memorial Hospital mortuary in Suva.