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Find Solutions Not Problems: Welch Tells Medical Professionals

Find Solutions Not Problems: Welch Tells Medical Professionals
Fiji Medical Association members with Ministry of Civil Service Permanent Secretary Bernadette Welch during 60th annual scientific conference at The Pearl South Pacific in Pacific Harbour on September 7, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
September 08
11:00 2018

There is a need for medical professionals to turn a nega­tive situation into a positive one by being solution focused.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Civil Service, Berna­dette Welch, made this statement during Fiji Medical Association 60th Annual Scientific Conference at The Pearl Resort Fiji in Pacific Harbour yesterday.

“We need to turn a negative situ­ation into a positive by changing our approach. And being solution focused is understanding what are needs or wants and finding a way to help them achieve what they want,” she told more than 100 members of the medical fraternity.

Ms Welch said the doctors and medical students need to take time and deal with their patients, with solution-based approaches.

“Deal with patients with patience but also be solution-focused be­cause it makes the job easier, makes the experience of the patients much better, and work a lot better,” she said.


In addition, she added the Health Customer Care Call Centre which is supported by Ministry of Health and Medical Services was a means for the patients to contact them should an issue arise.

“The posters which can be found over medical facilities encouraged people to talk to the doctor or nurse in charge if they have issues, but if they couldn’t reach a resolution they can contact this centre,” said Ms Welch.

“The centre has internal system in process including having a pre-agreed response times for different kinds of complaints.

Before that there was no formal process of lodging complaints from unsatisfied customers. There were informal process and it was run by risk management and everything was recorded manually.

Ms Welch said there was an incon­sistency in service delivery and a lot of people chose to complain to the Health Minister or the Prime Minister.

“A lot of these are operational problems and was not going to the Ministers so that’s why the system is in place,” she said.

The number of call centre is 157.


In June, 2017, Ms Welch noted there were 497 complaints received. In July, 2017, there was 967 com­plaints received by the centre.

“We had a big rush at the start and then the number of complaints had gradually reduced until May this year when we got 145, 136, 145 and 146 within the last four months,” she said.

Ms Welch said the complaints from June, close to 69.9 per cent of which are still yet to be met with a resolution.

She urged the medical profession­als to remain consistent and needed to improve their services.

“I have to be honest with you and say that we have been very slow in putting these systems in place.

“The Ministry of Health has a lot of dysfunctional practices and it’s everybody’s responsibility when you see dysfunction, to fix it.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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