Health budget presented has unreal and piecemeal solutions - Chand

Health budget presented has unreal and piecemeal solutions - Chand

By Dhanjay Deo
Monday 10/07/2017
NFP’s parliamentarian Parmod Chand.

NFP’s parliamentarian Parmod Chand says the health budget presented by the current government has unreal and piecemeal solutions that will not cure Fiji’s health and medical services delivery.

While speaking on the 2017/2018 National Budget debate, Chand says the government should have allocated funds to provide free kidney dialysis to low income earners.

He says the $300,000 allocation has not changed despite the pleas of kidney patients and the Budget has made allocations for other things like hiring of consultants to improve Government’s image, marketing grants, golfing, and funds to the state broadcaster.

Chand then highlighted that there is just one Ear, Nose, Throat specialist that was recruited in 2014 adding the lack of specialists is alarming.

The NFP parliamentarian says the local medical personnel are being submerged at the expense of wholesale expatriate recruitment.

He says the recruitment drive in India early this year may help but we need to build on our local expertise as much as we can.

Meanwhile, Chand says the nurse practitioners’ salary increase by 75% is commendable, but there are just under 40 nurse practitioners who will benefit from this.

He says the midwives in the maternity areas are struggling and a 25% incentive would have been more appropriate.

The Health Ministry is allocated $321.2 million in the 2017/2018 National Budget which is an increase of $77.2 million and this has been attributed to the recruitment of 143 doctors, 200 nurses and other ancillary workers in hospitals around the country for better health services.

The Health Ministry has allocated $1 million for the construction of a new National Kidney Research Treatment Centre in Suva which will act as a national hub for treatment and prevention of kidney disease.

 
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