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What Fiji Govt Partnership With Australia Medical Services Provider Means: A-G

Every year Fijians withdraw money from their savings or Fiji National Provident Fund to seek medical treatment overseas which is not available locally.
15 Feb 2019 17:29
What Fiji Govt Partnership With Australia Medical Services Provider Means: A-G
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum explained in Parliament on Wednesday the benefits of the public-private partnership with Aspen Medical Limited.

He said every year Fijians withdraw money from their savings or Fiji National Provident Fund to seek medical treatment overseas which is not available locally.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this meant that Fiji’s foreign reserves takes a hit every time this happens.

But with the partnership and having overseas medical experts and training here, that money remains in Fiji.

It makes our economy stronger at the same time, not hitting into our foreign reserves.

His explanation came after he was asked by Opposition member Dr Atonio Lalabalavu to explain whether proper consultations were done before the agreement with Aspen Medical Limited was signed.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum further explained that the partnership was strategically thought out.

While keeping foreign reserves in Fiji was one, he said having an internationally renowned company running the two hospitals in the Western Division will also see more people from the region come to Fiji for their treatment.

He gave the example when Fiji acquired its first Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine, people from the South Pacific came here to get their MRI scan done and paid for it.

The first MRI machine was bought under the FijiFirst Government.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also stated that local doctors cannot start doing specialist surgeries overnight without receiving any training.

While specialists will be brought in from overseas initially, the local capacity would also be enhanced through mentoring.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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