Rural areas health care workforce – Waqainabete: Deploying staff a challenge for ministry – Fiji Times


Luke Nacei
17 February, 2022, 10:45 am
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete (second from right) during his visit to Nacolase Village in the district of Tavuki in Kadavu. Picture: LUKE NACEI
A challenge the Ministry of Health and Medical Services faces is deploying staff to rural areas.
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said many of them had opted to go to the Northern Division, however, he added the ministry was trying to convince these workers to at least spend a year or two in the rural areas before actually moving on.
Dr Waqainabete made the comment at a talanoa session with villagers of Nacolase in Tavuki, Kadavu, in response to suggestions that there be more doctors and nurses based at Vunisea.
“We are aware of their needs, we have the lab and X-rays working and what we intend to do is actually get a new doctor,” he said.
“Once the intern nurses have completed their internships, that will result in more nurses coming here.
“At the moment, they have the numbers to meet their work every day. It’s always a challenge to get staff over to the rural areas.
“One thing that we do know is that a lot of our staff want to go to the Northern Division, so it’s about making sure we’re able to convince them to come to areas such as this, at least for one or two-year rotations.”
Dr Waqainabete said 37 health workers are currently on Kadavu, and that a doctor is expected to be deployed to Vunisea by March.
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