‘Dr Riddell repeats the sad reality NFP highlighted’

National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad and Pacific Island Pacemaker Services chairwoman Dr Fiona Riddell. Picture: FIJI TIMES ONLINE

National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad says concerns NFP raised about the dismal state of Fiji’s health infrastructure were highlighted last week by Pacific Island Pacemaker Services chairwoman Dr Fiona Riddell.

In a statement released yesterday, he said Dr Riddell’s comments regarding worn-out infrastructure at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and Lautoka Hospital were issues NFP had raised in Parliament over the past eight years via end-of-week statements, motions and calls for a holistic bipartisan inquiry into health services.

Prof Prasad said such an inquiry would have identified the problems and advocated solutions, however, they were rejected by the FijiFirst government.

“Now, we have a medical professional, who has been linked to Fiji’s public health and medical services, repeat the sad reality and conclude that there seems to be no money to invest in the improvement of hospitals,” he said.

“What is utterly shameful is that the current Health Minister is a former medical professional who served as a leading surgeon, medical superintendent of the CWM Hospital as well as taught students who have graduated as doctors.”

Prof Prasad also questioned Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on when the provision of 24-hour heart surgeries and other treatment at Lautoka Hospital would be made available.

“The A-G announced in March it would start in May. Four months later, patients diagnosed with heart-related ailment are anxiously waiting to receive treatment with no indication at all about the proposed start date of the life-saving treatment.”

Prof Prasad said one of the first priorities of The People’s Alliance-NFP government after the elections would be to hold a holistic parliamentary inquiry into health services and infrastructure.

He said they would involve medical professionals and experts in delivery of public health and medical services in order to reach sound and sensible solutions to restore the quality of health services in the country.

More Stories