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Time To Invest In Medical Facilities: A-G At Forum Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Targets Tertiary Care To Develop

  The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has raised a number of legacy issues and one of them was development of medical facilities to full tertiary care. During
06 Jun 2016 08:16
Time To Invest In Medical Facilities: A-G At Forum Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Targets Tertiary Care To Develop
Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum informing the people gathered that there will a new budget in August this year during the budget forum at Labasa College in Labasa yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

 

The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has raised a number of legacy issues and one of them was development of medical facilities to full tertiary care.

During the Budget Forum at Labasa College on Saturday he said there was nobody in Fiji that could currently do open heart surgery.

“That is not a good situation to be in,’ Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“The rich people can afford; sometimes they get a private jet, I nearly on a daily basis approve as the Minister for Civil Aviation when there needs to be any emergency flight for tourists and various locals to fly out overseas to get medical treatment.

“If you have enough time maybe then you can fly out to India to get a surgery which is done very well at an affordable price.

“We want to be able to improve the position of our medical services and medical facilities.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it took long term investment in training and experience to develop medical staff to reach the required level.

“You can’t get a person out of Fiji School of Medicine and two years later they do open heart surgery,” he said.

“It takes about ten, 15, 20 years of training and experience both on shore and off shore. So it is a legacy issue.

“You can’t just churn these doctors out over night.”

He said the Government had started a programme to deal with the lack of investment in medical facilities and the plan of approach for the private sector for healthy tax breaks to invest.

“This is why we have offered many healthy tax packages,” he said.

“You can get about a 12 year holiday if you invest in medical facilities.

“Even basic things like if someone invests to set up a centre here and someone invests into a machine such as MRI machine, scan machine and extra and it is a minimum investment of $2 million, they will get a seven year tax holiday because you don’t have a MRI machines here.

“It needs to be like a service orientated policy.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

 



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