22 Jan 2013

Fiji Health Minister confident of improvements in service delivery

9:35 pm on 22 January 2013

The Fiji Minister of Health, Dr Neil Sharma, says with the huge boost in health workers this year, the shortage of nurses and doctors is already becoming a thing of the past.

35 new doctors and 54 nurses are joining the labour force and in March, another more than 200 graduating nurses will join them.

Dr Sharma says the focus is on raising the nurse and doctor intake, and giving them the tools to be effective healthcare workers.

"Prior to 2009 the numbers coming out of the nursing school was only 90, and the attrition rate was high. That has turned around, we have nurses coming back now, work conditions, the salary has improved substantially, and there is a career pathway and a succession plan in place, so we are able to retain a lot more of our nurses and the numbers from 90 has sky-rocketed to 300 this year."

Dr Neil Sharma says he is confident in the next four to five years, the numbers will go up higher so the people of Fiji can be served a lot more effectively.