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Medics Flee Ra Health Centre

Medics Flee Ra Health Centre
Titilia Varanisese points out to the way in which the two men allegedly entered the doctor’s quarters. Photo: Yogesh Chandra
July 17
11:26 2018

A doctor and a nurse, fearing for their lives, have fled the Nasau Health Centre in Ra.

They abandoned the centre after Dr Ashneel Asish Chand was allegedly held at knifepoint and assaulted by two men wanting money and methylated spirits.

Dr Chand, recovering in Nadi from last Friday’s ordeal, declined to comment last night.

The nurse could not be reached to comment.

Now more than 2000 people in Nasau and surrounding communities are concerned that they cannot access medical services because the centre is closed.

They have to pay $120 to travel to the nearest health centre.

The attack has shattered the peace and tranquility of this remote rural area.

Titilia Varanisese, 21, who witnessed the incident, described it as horrifying and harrowing for the doctor and nurse.

Ms Varanisese lives just beside the health centre and next to the quarters where the doctor and nurse live.

“At around 9pm on Friday, there was a loud bang on our door,” she stated.

She said the doctor was in a panic and asked for their father. However, she said, only herself and her sister were at home.

She said the doctor feared for his safety and requested the girls to lock the door while they contacted the Police.

“Just lock the door please because two men have just entered my house and have held me at knifepoint, he told us,” Ms Varanisese stated.

“The doctor was just about to have his dinner when the two men entered his house,” she stated.

“He said that the men punched him twice and asked for his money,” Ms Varanisese stated. They allegedly managed to take $50 from the doctor.

“Then they asked the doctor for methylated spirit,” she stated.

“The doctor replied that it was not in the quarters and it was only available at the health centre,” she added.

The two men then allegedly marched Dr Chand. They held a knife to his neck, stated Ms Varanisese.

Village chief, Ratu Isoa Nayasikalau, said that he was very concerned about the alleged incident because he believed that it was affecting the entire community at large.

“We are all suffering because of the actions of a few,” he stated.

Ratu Nayasikalau said he had already talked to the youths of the village relating to the incident.

“I have already questioned and counselled them on Saturday,” he stated.

He was concerned about the absence of medical staff.

He said it would be a major problem if there was a medical emergency.

“Nothing like this has happened in the past and everyone is concerned and shocked as well,” he added.

Kevueli Naimovi, Head Teacher of Nasau District School, said he was concerned about the students’ medical requirements.

“The centre accommodated for five schools in the area,” Mr Naimovi stated.

“We now have had to tell the parents to bear the costs of taking their children to the hospital if anything happens,” he added.

He briefed teachers and students relating to the incident and hoped that more awareness was raised to combat such activities.

“Just because of the acts of two persons, the entire village is suffering,” Ratu Isoa added.

He said that everyone lived harmoniously in the community.

“We have a very peaceful community, but this is a shock to everyone,” he added.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that a report was lodged on July 13.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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