Assistant Minister for Health, Alex O'Connor has revealed that the National Kidney Dialysis and Research Centre is scheduled to be fully operational from November this year for patients of the greater Suva-Nausori area.
O'Connor says government has also approved and set aside budgetary allocation for subsidising dialysis cost for patients in the low income stages. He says this subsidy is already in use for kidney patients in Labasa and will soon commence in Suva.
$100,000 has been allocated for the Kidney Dialysis Treatment Subsidy in the 2020/2021 National Budget.
O'Connor adds that following years of specialists training through the Fiji National University and in abroad, Fijian medical specialists have come back to set up specialist services in the Ministry of Health.
These are urology, neurosurgery, plastic-surgery, pediatric surgery, nephrology, invasive cardiology, medical oncology, neonatalogy, pediatric cardiology and emergency medicine.
O'Connor says many of these high and complex specialist medical services did not exist in Fiji before 2012 and the Ministry of Health used to send Fijians to overseas hospitals for expert treatments which would take hours and cost thousands of dollars.
He says well trained and competent local medical specialists are now providing these services in Fiji which means significant savings in transportation, living expenses and emotional pressures from being away in a foreign land for specialist treatment.
O'Connor adds that outreach visits are now conducted at sub divisional hospitals and maritime islands by specialists from the main hospitals at an increased frequency.
He also confirms that Fiji now has the lithotripter machine which is the first of its kind in the Pacific that ensures that treatment of kidney stones are improved as many patients that used to require open surgical procedures for their kidney stones are now treated without requiring to undergo a surgical operation or admitted for long periods of time at the hospital.
O'Connor further says they also have the Liquid-based cytology machine which is the first of its kind in Fiji and was purchased to increase the volume and timeliness of diagnosis for cancer which is now the third most common cause of mortality in Fiji.
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