Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says to cater for non-COVID patients, they are setting up a 150-bed Non-COVID Field Hospital in Lautoka.
Doctor Fong says they plan to have this open in 48 hours to handle patients with illnesses that can be treated on a 21-day timeline.
As announced by the Prime Minister, the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) has been dispatched on the government medical carrier vessel, the MV Veivueti, to support the healthcare management strategy within the Lautoka Containment Area.
The Permanent Secretary says extending from that field hospital will be clear patient care flow pathways that allow for patients to be securely moved to other hospitals and healthcare facilities if necessary.
The Field Hospital will enforce strict COVID screening and security to ensure it is a COVID-free facility, while the Lautoka Hospital remains exclusively a COVID care facility.
To ensure there are no lapses in healthcare services for those looking to visit public hospitals, Doctor Fong says they have been talking to a number of private general practitioners in the Nadi-Lautoka-Ba area to open the doors of their clinics to those Fijians who normally cannot afford to visit a private practitioner.
Government will directly pay the private practitioners for the treatment and consultations provided for such people.
He says under these soon-to-be finalised arrangements, patients who normally go to public hospitals and health centres can access non-COVID treatment or consultations at private clinics in Nadi, Lautoka, and Ba.
Tomorrow, they will be announcing the names of the private doctors who have stepped up in solidarity with the Health Ministry to ensure the people can access the non-COVID care they require.
He has urged other private doctors to call him.
Doctor Fong says contingency plans have also been developed for a range of scenarios, including the need to expand capacity in the event of additional community cases in and outside of Lautoka, a severe weather event, or a COVID-leak in the Field Hospital.
He says this is the first major operation for FEMAT in response to a national disaster and their teams are ready to show the nation what they can do.
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