Time to make things Right in the Health Sector: Council

27/05/2014 14:49

The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging senior officials of the Ministry of Health to get their act together and re-organise themselves as ‘professionals’ to improve the delivery of health services to the public.

There are enough cases at hand to show a persisting sense of carelessness on the part of Ministry of Health staff in not upholding the Ministry’s mission. I understand its mission is to provide high quality health care delivery service by a caring and committed workforce.

The ongoing problems with service delivery and complaints by public health service users show a lack of common sense, diligence and compassion towards the public. These are the people who are the reason and the purpose of the work undertaken by the Ministry of Health. While there are doctors and nurses who are compassionate and deliver high quality outcomes, there are amongst them staff that bring disrepute to the Ministry.

Time and again when issues are raised by the consumers, we only know that the matter is being investigated. But the outcomes of the investigation is unknown to the public. To restore faith in health care services, investigations must be completed in a timely manner and the person who failed to uphold the values and policies of Ministry of Health must be disciplined. The Ministry of Health must make some hard decisions and reprimand staff who have been irresponsible.

Recently, several cases were publicly reported which reflect weaknesses in the management and service delivery of the hospitals. Perhaps we should let doctors and nurses do what they do best and leave management to qualified managers.

It is time the Ministry puts itself in order and make things right for the people as not all Fijian consumers can afford accessing private health and medical care.

As public hospitals and health centers are tax-payer funded, hospital managers and the Ministry of Health must be accountable to the public for any deficiencies in service delivery.