NEWS

DOCTORS WANT SECURITY

The knifepoint attack against a doctor at Nasau Health Centre in Ra was not the first incident of its type, it has been revealed. Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, president of the
18 Jul 2018 10:00
DOCTORS  WANT  SECURITY
Villagers in front of the closed Nasau Health Centre in Ra.

The knifepoint attack against a doctor at Nasau Health Centre in Ra was not the first incident of its type, it has been revealed.

Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, president of the Fiji Medical Association, has called for the protection of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel who served in rural areas especially.

While he could not disclose the total number of attacks against doctors, he highlighted cases such as:

  • In Lau, a doctor was severely injured when he was assaulted. Dr Waqainabete said he was personally involved in the airlifting of the doctor to Suva.
  •  In Bukuya, Ba, a doctor was also attacked
  • At the Lautoka Hospital, Dr Waqainabete said a doctor was abused and sworn at by someone who had lost his patience at the Emergency Department.

He said all such cases highlighted  how vulnerable doctors were to risks of attacks and abuse.

Dr Waqainabete is the Associate Professor Surgery at the Fiji National University and a Consultant Surgeon at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

He said there needed to be public awareness of the important role doctors and nurses performed.

“This is where the problem lies,” he said.

“We just need to be responsible as a community and look after our medical professionals and our health services,” he said.

He used the analogy of our Fiji Airways National 7s rugby team.

“If we support them and make them happy, they will perform,” he said

He said community leaders and stakeholders should  educate their people to support and appreciate the services provided by doctors and nurses.

He said if a doctor was attacked, the public must ensure that the law was brought in to deal with the case immediately so that the whole country must know it was unacceptable to abuse or attack doctors.

He said the Nasau Health Centre doctor would get trauma counseling before being redeployed. He said the doctor would not return to Nasau.

The doctor was believed to have been held at knifepoint by two men who wanted money and methylated spirits last Friday night. Dr Waqainabete said rural health centres were expected to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deal with emergency cases.

He said the most important thing was the trust from patients and their families.

He said as more women now join the medical profession, security was even more important.

He said doctors got attacked on Facebook too.

“We can’t defend ourselves on Facebook because we have sworn on oath not to disclose information,” he said.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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