Plans For Nurses’ Pay Rise

Plans are in place to increase pay for our nurses in future, the Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate confirmed yesterday. He said: “At the moment we are
24 Jul 2016 18:44
Plans For Nurses’ Pay Rise
ommissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea (third from the left-sitting) with doctors and interns during the Fiji Medical Association (FMA) mini conference at the Labasa Hospital yesterday. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Plans are in place to increase pay for our nurses in future, the Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate confirmed yesterday.

He said: “At the moment we are looking at the governance structure of nurses. We are also looking at the specialisation.”

Mr Usamate said anything to do with nurses was still with the ministry.

“There are training programmes organised by the ministry for them and we are also working on creating specialisation careers,” he said during the Fiji Medical Nurses Practitioners 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Studio 6 Hotel in Suva yesterday.



Mr Usamate also reminded the nurses about their roles.

He said: “Nurses must have what it takes to get the job done. They must have the knowledge, the skills and the competence and also the attitude of mind.

“Nurses must have three things knowledge, skills and attitude.”

Mr Usamate said nurses needed to be aware that the actions they took would have an impact on other health care workers.

“Especially the public image or perception of the public affects the reputation of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services including the nursing institution.

“We encourage nurses to be innovative, assertive and understanding towards the safety of the public is paramount to achieve nursing excellence.”



Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea says a reformed and well paid civil service will no doubt be the change needed if we are to progress.

During the Fiji Medical Association (FMA) mini conference at Labasa Hospital yesterday, he said they could not expect to attract competent people to work in the civil service on “lousy pay”.

“Another factor that is thwarting the progress of the civil service is that we have people playing politics behind the scene,” Mr Vocea said.

“There may be good intensions and very good policies at the top, but if the civil service is not on the same page as Government, then the results may not be what we expect.

“Another fact is that we just cannot have people in the civil service working with an attitude that they will hide behind the masses and retire comfortably without making any difference.

“It is interesting to note that the Government has seen prudent to start the reforms by taking a long hard look at pay of civil servants and it was started with the Police and doctors.”



The former president of Fiji Medical Association (FMA) Doctor Eddie McCaig says increasing pay for doctors was not the only solution to stop them from migrating.

Dr McCaig, who is currently the Fiji National University (FNU) surgical professor, believes improving the working conditions should be looked at.

“I have been a doctor for more than 40 years,” Dr McCaig said yesterday.

“In the 1990s we lost 50 doctors and 100 nurses annually. Then we looked at why they were leaving.

“The theory is not that you pay them more then they will stay. Some of the reasons were the political situation in this country at that time.

“Education for the kids and family overseas were encouraging them to leave.

“However, the main reason was the poor working conditions.

“We will be able to do our job well if we have the equipment.

“You can’t say to a doctor that we are paying you more now so you do your job. How can you expect a doctor to do his job on full capacity when much needed equipment is missing?”



Medical Superintendent of CWM Hospital Doctor Jemesa Tudravu said at the conference that a Healthcare Complaints Commission has been established.

“This commission was proposed by the Fiji Medical Association (FMA) to be the first point of contact for resolving customer complaints, mediation and reconciliation,” Dr Tudravu said.

“There is a greater need of communication and responsiveness such as verbal, written, documentation and social media. There have been many complaints about medical professionals and services on social media.

“However, I believe this will be reduced as the commission has been established to overcome this.”


Edited by Naisa Koroi


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