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Dental Officer Claims Salary Same As Hygienist, Therapist

We want a pay rise, a dental officer yesterday told the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during his budget consultations in Labasa. Priyansha Chand, a dental officer at
30 Apr 2017 10:47
Dental Officer Claims Salary Same As Hygienist, Therapist
Labasa Hospital dental officer Priyashna Chand (right) making her sumbmission during the ‎2017-2018 budget consultation at Labasa Civic Centre on April 29. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

We want a pay rise, a dental officer yesterday told the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during his budget consultations in Labasa.

Priyansha Chand, a dental officer at the Labasa Hospital, asked the Minister to review the base salary of graduates from the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

“As a young graduate this is my third year of practicing and when I graduated I came in with a salary of $18,277,” Ms Chand said.

Ms Chand said her base salary as a dental officer was the same as a dental hygienist, a dental therapist and a dental technician, which she felt was disheartening.

“There are four dental professions and they all get the same pay when they come in,” she said.

“I studied for five years and spent close to $75,000. It is quite disheartening when you compare our pay to the present high cost of living.

“We want pay rise, please.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum responded by explaining that announcement over various media has been made that they were doing an overall review of all the civil servants pay structure.

“It includes people like dentists too and the work has started,” he said. It was hoped to complete this by July,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We are doing comparison of what is being paid in the market.”

He said the idea is to  reward people properly

“We want to fix up the base and from there on recognise the points of difference. For example, there are some with dental qualifications but others may have higher level of education and high exposure but they are not recognised.

“So we need to be able to ensure that we get the base right, we also reward people based on your skills and level of exposure.”

Labasa Hospital principal dental officer Zia Yakub also made a submission on the need to increase pay for dental officers and the need to give housing allowances to those who leave their home to work at divisional hospitals.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum asked them to drop him an email and he would sort it out.

Ms Yakub made her last submission requesting the Government to upgrade the dental department at the Labasa Hospital.

“Other three divisional hospitals for dental clinics have been upgraded but for Labasa Hospital there has been no upgrade for so many years,” Ms Yakub said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he would have to check with the Ministry of Health whether that had been included in the budget or not and assured them that he would address their issues.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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