PM Rabuka picks on health system

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and wife Sulueti share a moment with Riteshni Devi and her three-month-old son Krishnav at the Sri Satya Sai Sanjeevani Children's Hospital in Nasese, Suva, on Thursday, February 02, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Fiji’s public health system is “plagued” with crumbling infrastructure and overworked staff.

While speaking at an event at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital in Suva – marking the Prema Foundation’s more than 100 successful heart surgeries – Mr Rabuka commended the foundation for their vision in establishing the $25 million state-of-the-art facility to provide free services to the public.

According to Mr Rabuka, this helped complement the existing health system in Fiji.

He also acknowledged the dedication and expertise of visiting medical teams from overseas, he thanked the Tappoo family for undertaking the initiative, the sort encouraged and supported by the coalition Government.

“As many of you know, on its own, the people’s coalition Government would not be able to cure all that had gone wrong in this country,” he said.

“Our health system, the state of its infrastructure, the equipment and medicine needed, as well as lifting the working conditions and incentives of our doctors, nurses and health workers require urgent life-saving interventions.

“This is why the work of philanthropists like the Tappoo family is welcomed. It is the kind of partnership the coalition Government will encourage.

“Our public health system, plagued as it is, by crumbling infrastructure and resource limitations together with an overworked and under-compensated workforce.

“Your people’s coalition Government commends the huge self-sacrificing work that you are all doing, and we stand ready to help in any way we can.

“The Sai Prema Foundation’s intent to build a hospital dedicated to saving the lives of children who live with congenital heart disease is nothing short of a blessing to many families who would never be able to afford open heart surgery abroad.”

Director of the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital Fiji, Dr Krupali Tappoo, said she was pleased with the achievement.

“For a young hospital to make such a significant impact upon our beloved nation is truly remarkable,” she said.

“Tremendous amounts of hard work, dedication and sacrifice have been made by medical and non-medical individuals in Fiji and around the world to enable this hospital to carry out this monumental task.”

The surgeries were carried out by a specialist team from Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Mumbai, India.

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