NEWS

Waqainabete Ready With An Open Mind

Staff of the Ministry for Health and Medical Services need to be well resourced and supported so they can tackle challenges they face, says the newly-appointed Health Minister Dr Ifereimi
23 Nov 2018 11:12
Waqainabete Ready With An Open Mind
Minister for Health and Medical Servicers Dr. Iferemi Waiqainabete at State House. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Staff of the Ministry for Health and Medical Services need to be well resourced and supported so they can tackle challenges they face, says the newly-appointed Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

Dr Waqainabete, a renowned surgeon and former Associate Professor at the Fiji National University, takes on the role from Rosy Akbar, who now takes on the Education, Heritage and Arts portfolio.

Originally from Moala in Lau and a former student of Ratu Kadavulevu School, Dr Waqainabete was trained locally before spending three-and-a-half years in New Zealand and returned home to be a surgeon.

He is married to Dr Miriama Waqainabete and they have four children.

“I have a background as a health and medical specialist and also in health education and I understand the importance of research because from the university perspective we always try to look at ways to make things better and the medical profession is like that,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“It is important moving forward to look at data, at what we have and I have said it all along it is attention to detail.”

He said his political journey has been an interesting one, especially the past six weeks.

“What is important for me personally to understand is that now I do not represent FijiFirst, now I represent Fiji and the government of the day, so it is our role and responsibility to make sure that we provide the service to everyone irrespective of who they are and who they voted for,” he said.

Dr Waqainabete said he is taking up his new role as minister with a clean slate.

“I am heading into this with a very blank attitude, not thinking that ‘I am a surgeon, I know all these things’ because that is prob- ably going to fall flat on my face,” he said.

“What I need to do is think like I know nothing at all and make it all over again because sometimes you take on a new role and you think you have been here before I have done it all before and you find yourself struggling in the first 100 days.”

Dr Waqainabete said people needed to be mindful that health service delivery was multisectoral and not only limited to the service provided by Government through its public health systems.

“It is important that we engage all stake- holders together so that we can be able to understand what the mission and the vi- sion of the Government is.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: