Minister for Health, Rosy Akbar says the increase in funding for hiring of locum doctors which includes 31 general practitioners and 9 specialists is done to cater for the current shortage and to better meet patient needs.
Akbar highlighted this while speaking during the 2018/2019 budget debate in parliament.
She says there is an increase from $500,000 to $2.5M to hire locum doctors to practice with our health facilities.
Akbar says $47.6M will be provided by the Ministry of Civil Service to fund doctors’ salaries and training.
The Health Minister says the introduction of general practitioners to set up clinics directly in Fijian communities will greatly boost the accessibility of health services in the rural and maritime areas.
Akbar says they welcome other initiatives like $1.0M that is allocated to begin preparatory works on a Fiji Centre for Communicable Disease Control which will serve as a national referral centre for communicable diseases.
She says $500,000 is allocated for the upgrade and maintenance of the Korovou Hospital and these funds also cover the reconstruction of the administration and dental blocks, and the construction of new staff accommodation.
Akbar also stated that $2.5M is allocated to upgrade the classification of the Valelevu Health Centre to a Sub‑Divisional Hospital and $3.0M is allocated for the upgrade of Lautoka Hospital Operating Theatre and X‑Ray Department.
The total budget for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in 2018‑2019 national budget is $335.0M.
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