NATION

Boosting Specialised Clinical Services

More investments are needed in human resources training in the medical field. This was the conclusion raised during the specialised clinical services workforce planning workshop that ended at Westin Denarau
05 Oct 2014 14:02
Boosting Specialised  Clinical Services

More investments are needed in human resources training in the medical field.
This was the conclusion raised during the specialised clinical services workforce planning workshop that ended at Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa last Thursday.
The four- day workshop was aimed at having dialogue on issues medical human resources faces. It was organised by the Strengthening Specialised Clinical Services in the Pacific Programme (SSCSiP) for 14 Pacific island countries, including Fiji.
Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Associate Dean, Dr Berlin Kafoa, said the workshop was aimed at how to plan short and long term goals.
“Fiji has a severe shortage but better than before because our locals, either men or women, have come back and we have to keep on training personnel,” he said.
“Yet we don’t have specialists especially when there is this NCD crisis. It needs investment. It takes 10 years investment as six years for MBBS and four years post- grad to get a junior consultant.”
However, he said the Pacific continues to face a severe shortage of clinical specialists, and they would be addressing this issue which requires good analysis and planning.
“How we plan ten years ahead to have clinical technicians. Secondly for the long term since Fiji does not have any.”
“How do we get people who want to volunteer so the best attention is given? For example in the Pacific, the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, under the Pacific Islands Project coming to Pacific islands countries for the last 15 years.
“For example we have cardiac surgery; such a shortage.
“In the interim we have to work in partnership with the Australian government funding and we have been able to work for the last fifteen years.”
This workshop is a response to the Pacific island countries’ request for greater support in the area of clinical workforce planning.
“The problem here arises when a country allocates scholarship at the national level and sometimes it is not a priority as it should be,” Dr Kafoa added.
“I think if Pacific island countries earmark scholarships for more than one for the long term we will be able to fill in this gap.
“On an average it takes ten years to train one, some countries have only one technician per field, and one surgeon.”
The event was funded by the Australian government and implemented by the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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