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Health Minister Assures Action Over ‘Drunk’ Doctor Claims

Dr Waqainabete sought forgiveness from the Koro villagers and said they would uplift their health service delivery on the island.
06 Feb 2020 14:13
Health Minister Assures Action Over ‘Drunk’ Doctor Claims
Osea at Qalivakabau school in Koro Island. PHOTO: Dr Iferimi Waqainabete

The only resident doctor located on the island of Koro will be undergoing disciplinary action for alleged unprofessional misconduct.

During a talanoa session held yesterday between Government ministers including Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and villagers of Koro, it was claimed that the doctor was drunk during working hours.

A villager had stated that he had taken his relative for a hospital check-up last week. However, he said the doctor was allegedly drunk.

The concerned villager claimed this had been an issue that villagers have had to put up with while going to the health centre for assistance.

While responding to the issue, Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said he had caught wind of some matters coming out of Koro.

He asked the Lomaiviti Sub Divisional Medical Officer if the complaint raised was true to which the officer said it was.

Dr Waqainabete said the reason he came to Koro with the PM was because he wanted to come and see for himself the quality of health services being offered to villagers.

He sought forgiveness from the Koro villagers and said they would uplift their health service delivery on the island.

“Unprofessionalism of our staff is unacceptable especially in an area like this. We take it very seriously,” Dr Waqainabete.

“For the moment we have agreed that the doctor will be moved closer to the supervisor while they have another replacement doctor here.”

“She will be moved to be under the direct supervision of the SDMO who is based in Levuka.”

Dr Waqainabete said it was the first time he had heard of such an incident.

“Around Fiji we have never had issues like this.

“Everywhere I have gone so far, I have never heard anything of the like but anyway it was raised and it is said to have happened several times.

“The thing I am worried about is to be able to effectively deliver our service we must have the trust of the people.”

“Once they don’t trust us it will be hard for us to deliver our services. As you can see from the discussions today that they have no trust in the service we provide because of the issues that are there. So we will move the person and bring someone whom they can trust.”

He said there were internal disciplinary processes to be followed and the doctor in question would be assessed and dealt with accordingly.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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