Analysis: Medical Breakthrough, Better Care, No Additional Cost

The recent partnership deal between Government and Australia-based Aspen Medical Pty Limited will see overseas standard medical services available to Fijians, at no additional cost. The deal, the brainchild of
14 Nov 2018 13:21
Analysis: Medical Breakthrough, Better Care, No Additional Cost
Stakeholders in the partnership between Government and the Australian-based internationally renowned quality healthcare operator Aspen Medical Pty Limited, included Permanent Secretary for the Ministry for Economy Makereta Konrote (second from left), Aspen Medical chief executive officer Bruce Armstrong (third from left) and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (fifth from left). The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Economy conference room on November 12, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

The recent partnership deal between Government and Australia-based Aspen Medical Pty Limited will see overseas standard medical services available to Fijians, at no additional cost.

The deal, the brainchild of Government, is to provide locals with best medical services. It was formalised on Monday.

What does this mean for Fijians?

Australia-based Aspen Medical Pty Limited will equip, maintain and operate the Ba and Lautoka hospitals. They will also undertake a vast upgrade of the Lautoka Hospital, bringing specialised, high-quality medical services and modern health facilities direct to all Fijians.

For the first time ever, radiotherapy for cancer and the 24 hours a day and seven days a week availability of cardiac surgery, along with tertiary care, better maternity care and expanded treatment options for NCDs.

Aspen Medical will also build a new hospital wing with modern facilities at the Lautoka hospital, which will increase the availability of services at the hospital.

More job creation:

Training for locals is also part of this partnership and more jobs will be created with the expansion of the new hospital wing as the number of health workers needed to staff the facilities is set to increase. Under the project agreement, both the Ba and Lautoka hospitals will be required to be fully internationally accredited.

Under the terms of the public-private partnership agreement, Aspen Medical will provide more modern medical equipment and will manage and maintain the clinical health services and the hospitals.

This will be done by working with existing health staff at both facilities and providing staff with new training and opportunities to work with the latest medical equipment.

The tender process and work done in the background:

Aspen Medical – an internationally-certified hospital operator with its headquarters in Canberra – was selected by the Fijian Government following a competitive tender process that began in March 2018.

The Fijian Government received technical expertise on the project structuring and tender process from the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.

Permanent Secretary for Economy Makererta Konrote made special mention of Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the signing ceremony.

“I would like to thank the Honourable Minister for Economy for his strategic guidance towards this project, and for his bold vision in driving forward this historic advancement in Fijian healthcare.

“With his support, we have identified a partner with the right mix of experiences building local capacity and addressing the major health challenges facing the Fijian people. Fiji’s strong economic position has paved the way for an international partnership of this capacity — one that will deliver world-class, specialised healthcare for Fijian families at zero additional cost to the patient.

“With this step, healthcare in Fiji will undergo a revolution that will dramatically improve the well-being of our people as we know it,” she said.

What next:

Government is now leveraging private sector expertise and investment to improve healthcare services for all Fijians under our universal health coverage, with the hospitals remaining public, and our current staff staying in their jobs.

Who are Aspen Medical:

Aspen Medical Pty Limited has a long tradition of similar partnerships with governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the benefit of people in both developed and developing nations around the world.

Aspen Medical is a global provider of health services, with a focus on assisting rural and remote communities and responding to emergency and critical situations.

Based in Canberra, Australia, Aspen was established in 2003 by Glenn Keys and Dr Andrew Walker. Its initial work involved reviewing the delivery of orthopaedic services under the Blair Government’s National Health Service Reforms, and reducing waiting lists for orthopaedic surgery.

Subsequently, the firm medically supported the Australian-led mission to stabilise the Solomon Islands. It now works in countries around the world.


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