NATION

Biomedical Engineers Play Effective Role In Health System

Biomedical engineers are an important component of an effective health system, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.
29 Sep 2019 13:27
Biomedical Engineers Play Effective Role In Health System
Minister for Health and Medical Servicers Dr Iferemi Waqainabete (sitting third left) with participants during National Biomedical Engineering workshop on September 28, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Biomedical engineers are an important component of an effective health system, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

Yesterday morning Dr Waqainabete highlighted this when he opened the Biomedical Engineers Workshop at the Government Pharmacy in Nabua, Suva.

He said the Ministry of Health had an inventory of 7159 equipment required in diagnosis and life saving procedures.

He said these equipment were vital tools for medical professionals and without these an effective service delivery would not be possible.

He added the workshop was part of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s vision of continued professional development. “We have ‘a leave no one behind policy’ and everyone has the right to professional development,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“Our biomedical engineers have for long felt alienated in the health sector, they were like auxiliary staff. This is not the case, they are an important cog in the wheel.

“They ensure that lifesaving equipment in our hospitals and health centres are in working condition.”

Dr Waqainabete said there were nine biomedical engineers in 1989 compared to 29 now.

He said government’s commitment to ensure equipment and machinery in the health system was up to date had seen an increase in the ministry’s allocation for spare parts rise from $500,000 in 2017 to $1.5 million in 2019.

He said there was also $5.5 million set aside for the purchase of new equipment.

Dr Waqainabete highlighted that most equipment had a shelf life of 10 to 14 years, after which advanced models and machines take their place, making parts and older machines obsolete.

He is happy with the forward thinking of the biomedical team that has a plan for replacements.

Dr Waqainabete said because of the quality of the equipment, specialists have been able to perform services from divisional health centres.

He said this was also the reason why the Government medical ship MV Vuevueti had made successful trips to Kadavu. Biomedical engineers from all over Fiji attended the workshop.

Edited by Percy Kean

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