NEWS

200K For Rural Health Clinics

The new scheme is targeted at providing private doctor services in rural areas. Responding to Fiji Sun’s queries, he said this would encourage GPs from setting up in remote areas.
09 Aug 2022 15:30
200K For Rural Health Clinics
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum

Private doctors have been urged to make the most of the Government announced rural clinic scheme. In the 2022-2023 National Budget Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced an allocation of $200,000 to assist general practitioners in opening their clinics in rural areas.

Areas identified include Nawaicoba, Malolo, Naidovi, Drasa, Sabeto, Seaqaqa, Dreketi, Nasarawaqa, Korolevu, and Pacific Harbour.

This is in addition to a scheme already in place where Government pays for the doctor consultations and a $200K number of related costs for private doctor visits. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said that the current General Practitioners (GP) subsidy scheme with $1M set aside would predominantly benefit the urban and peri-urban areas.

 

The new scheme is targeted at providing private doctor services in rural areas. Responding to Fiji Sun’s queries, he said this would encourage GPs from setting up in remote areas.

“I’m in Taveuni and certainly we would like a place like Taveuni to have a GP on the scheme as well as Nawaicoba,” Dr Waqainabete said.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the allocation towards this initiative would seek to benefit the rural communities.

“This allows for more efficient delivery of medical services to Fijians who reside in these areas and those who reside near these areas,” he said.

“We firmly believe in leaving no Fijian behind, especially those living in rural and maritime areas.”

 

The new initiative is expected to mainly benefit communities living on the outskirts of the main urban based medical serviced areas.

“The pandemic forced us to innovate and implement a Free General Practitioner’s Scheme or the Free GP Scheme as it’s become known,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“To allow Fijians who used to rely on the public healthcare system to seek consultations and treatment at private GP clinics, at Government’s cost.”

“We did that out of necessity, but we’ve kept the programme because it works.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said medical emergencies have no time boundaries and emergencies can occur at any time.

“We want our people to know that we are here for them in the toughest of times,” he said.

 

Government also allocated $2.25 million for emergency evacuation by air from rural and maritime areas for medical emergencies. An additional 23 GPs had been selected to provide free medical services to the general public.

With the inclusion of the additional 23 GPs, there will now also be 38 private GPs (40 outlets in total) throughout the nation, All will be providing medical services to ordinary, everyday Fijians.

New dental schemes have also been announced for all Fijians, especially those worried about their current financial situation.

Government is also paying for a number of tests conducted by private labs and doctors. Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, said that at the moment, he still needed time and more information before commenting on this new initiative.

 

Feedback: jone.salusalu@fijisun.com.fj



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