Fiji Correction Service signs a MOU with Health Ministry to enhance healthcare service within their 15 centres

Fiji Correction Service signs a MOU with Health Ministry to enhance healthcare service within their 15 centres

By Marika Rasekaseka
Friday 08/12/2023
Acting Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Service, Salote Panapasa and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr James Fong. [Image: Fiji Corrections Services]

Enhancing healthcare services within the 15 correction facilities in Fiji, was a milestone achievement for the Fiji Corrections Service after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health to uphold the highest standards of healthcare provision and its dedication to the well-being of their inmates and staff.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr James Fong says the MOU signifies a significant step towards enhancing healthcare services within the Corrections facilities.

Dr Fong says the agreement is to see that the people in prison is not only a matter of equal rights and humanitarian justice but is also important for public health and a legal requirement.

He says as part of this, the Corrections Service will be responsible for providing daily screening of inmates and staff, including general health examinations, relevant tests, and referrals to specialist care when necessary.

The Acting Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Service, Salote Panapasa, says the Health Ministry is an important stakeholder in the provision of quality health care for those under the care of the Corrections Service.

She says through this MOU, two senior medical officers and nurses registered under the Fiji Medical Council have been employed and deployed to various Corrections Centres.

She says this interoperable approach will not only benefit FCS in reducing the movement of prisoners to the hospital, but also help to reduce cost for fuel and man-power.

She adds that this will also provide a way to utilize their budget and purchase medical equipment and machines instead of focusing on prisoners' medications every year.

The Acting Commissioner says they are currently restructuring its Medical Unit to incorporate its trained Medical Orderlies to allow adequate man-power in all Corrections Centres and enhance its medical services to the 500 inmates who require daily medication and checkups due to their medical conditions.

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