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Health Workers’ Attitude Goes A Long Way Towards Patients’ Welfare

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate, has given a clear message to all health workers. He said in Parliament that the Government would not tolerate health workers
20 Oct 2014 10:54
Health Workers’ Attitude Goes A Long Way Towards Patients’ Welfare

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate, has given a clear message to all health workers. He said in Parliament that the Government would not tolerate health workers who were rude, abusive or dismissive of the genuine concerns of the people.

He urged everyone in the system to put renewed effort into treating patients and their families professionally, politely and with genuine care and concern.

Mr Usamate said for the last eight years, the Bainimarama Government had steadily tackled the neglect and lack of investment in the health system by previous governments.

Our health services can have the best facilities and equipment but if the health professionals have the wrong attitude, Government would fail to achieve its key objectives.

Raising the health standards of our people requires a change in mindset. There was a time when pregnant women dreaded going into the labour rooms of our hospital’s maternity units because of the sometimes harsh and negative attitude of nurses/midwives. Hopefully most of it has disappeared now as we build a new culture of service to the people.

Mr Usamate has outlined that Government had hired hundreds of extra doctors, nurses and ancillary workers. New hospitals, he added, had been opened and existing ones renovated. Using the available resources, Government had built a series of clinics and nursing stations in rural areas. Decentralising the service means that it is easily accessed by many Fijians who, otherwise, would struggle to get to the nearest clinic for consultation and treatment.

The fact that Mr Usumate has an assistant minister in Veena Bhatnagar underscores the commitment that Government has in improving the health service. She is expected to pursue the changes to ensure that the key performance indicators are achieved.

The interests and welfare of patients are paramount in any health reforms. It’s heartening to note Government recognises this. Mr Usamate said the aim was to improve the experience of patients and their families when accessing health care.

He said bureaucrats, nurses and other workers needed to make the interaction with patients and families less stressful and more enjoyable.

“We intend to put the ‘care’ back into health care,” he said.

He is aware that there are doctors and nurses who go out of their way to provide a service that is sympathetic, emphatic and caring.

But at the same time there are still too many instances in which patients and families are not treated with respect.

Health workers must take their cue from Mr Usamate and make the appropriate changes.

 




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