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Minister, Doctors Welcome Initiatives

Minister, Doctors Welcome Initiatives
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.
June 30
12:31 2018

A cabinet minister and a few general practitioners (GP) have praised initiatives announced in the 2018-2019 National Budget in as far as women’s empowerment is concerned.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said the initiatives in the budget were a clear indication of Government’s role in trying to make the country inclusive for women.

While delivering her keynote address to 155 present at the Fiji College of General Practitioners (FCGP) annual general meeting at The Warwick Fiji yesterday, Ms Vuniwaqa said the current commitments by the Government had indeed helped women.

“There is no question on the strong political commitment to empower Fijian Women and on the condemnation of violence against our women and our children,” she stated

Ms Vuniwaqa said health for women was a major concern for Fiji, which has been reflected in the annual budget.

“The new budget articulates the promise of our Government for the improvement of health for all Fijians,” she said.

FCGP President Dr John Fatiaki said the 2018-2019 National Budget was a wonderful initiative by the Government in trying to assist women.

In regard to the $1000 funding for mothers of newborn babies he said: “I think it’s a wonderful initiative in the sense that we know how expensive it is to look after a newborn child.

“We have been focusing on women’s health and a better tomorrow for them.

“The extension in maternity leave re-emphasises the importance of the bond between a mother and a child.

“We are truly grateful for the modest increase in the budget allocation.”

Dr Ram Raju, a registered general practitioner in Nadi and Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME), said that the budget allocations announced on Thursday night were a step towards development.

“We are stepping in the right direction,” he stated.

Dr Raju said initiatives by the Government where general practitioners could set up clinics in rural and maritime areas was one that bridged the gap.

“This is a great move by the Government in bridging gaps,” he added.

Dr Ian Penjueli, a general practitioner at Bailey Clinic Lautoka, said that the budget allocation towards women would be a big help to them.

General practitioner Dr Alipate Vakamocea praised the new government programme to incentivise general practitioners to set-up their clinics in peri-urban, towns, rural and remote parts of Fiji.

“The feeling among the general practitioners at the moment is a very positive one. We are excited by the announcement by the Attorney–General and we look forward to seeing how this plays out for general practitioners.”

In addition, Dr Vakamocea said that since the treatment or consultation had to be free of charge, their organisation was going to liaise with the Government regarding how much they would charge.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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