21 Nov 2013

Call for minister to resign over state of hospitals in Fiji

7:33 pm on 21 November 2013

The Fiji political grouping, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, says the country's hospitals are in a serious state of decline, and the government needs to take responsibility.

The group found on a recent visit to Lautoka Hospital, only one of the three lifts were operating and patients are being asked to buy their own medication.

The UFDF's Mick Beddoes says last year nearly 5 point 5 million US dollars worth of medication had to be written off after sitting in stock and expiring.

Mr Beddoes says at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva staff are having problems with inferior medical items supplied by China and India and some anaesthetists are working 24 hour shifts because there is a shortage of specialists.

He says the Minister of Health Dr Neil Sharma should resign.

"He's trying to suggest that it is because of prior neglect, well what do we mean by prior, they've been in government for seven years and the issues we've raised are what has occurred in the last 24 months, they can't keep blaming governments prior to 2006."

Mick Beddoes.

Dr Neil Sharma says funding has been allocated for upgrades but he refused to comment further.