Feature

Doctor Touched By People Losing Jobs, Offers Medical Services On Barter Basis

Touched by the heart-wrenching news of people losing their jobs and only source of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Ashank J Naidu has offered to trade his expertise.
28 May 2020 12:36
Doctor Touched By People Losing Jobs, Offers Medical Services On Barter Basis
Dr Ashank J Naidu (right) with staff member Salanieta Namoumou at the Namaka Clinic on May 26, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Touched by the heart-wrenching news of people losing their jobs and only source of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Ashank J Naidu has offered to trade his expertise.

The Nadi-based private medical practitioner joined the thousands of Fijians on the hugely successful Barter for Better Fiji Facebook page to help those in need.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in job losses and redundancy in many organisations.

Two weeks ago Dr Naidu moved to set up at his brother’s existing dental clinic in Namaka. He now offers his medical services on a barter basis.

“This is who we Fijians are. This is what we Fijians do. I am complimenting our good government’s effort,” he said.

“My Fijian heart melts to see people in pain and suffering. I am a Fijian born and bred in Fiji. Fiji the way the world should be, right? Well this is it!

He travels daily from Sigatoka to Nadi to operate his clinic in Namaka and usually finds himself in tears somewhere along the journey.

“I’m a doctor, and I have recently moved to Namaka. It breaks my heart to learn of the increasing number of people losing their jobs and only means of livelihoods throughout Fiji,” Dr Naidu said.

“It really broke me when I learnt that 758 more lost their jobs at Fiji Airways. This is an addition to the 40,000 struggling to make ends meet.

“I am just doing my part for the country and its people and complementing the efforts of the Government of Fiji especially Attorney-General, Ministry of Health and other ministries for their efforts in containing COVID-19, the real virus in the economy.

This barter scheme is applicable only at his Namaka Clinic and to those individuals who:

  • Have been terminated or lost their jobs due to the economical effects of Covid-19;
  • Were the sole breadwinners for their families; and
  • Please bring along your ID card and proof of termination from the workplace.

If someone wishes to see him for medical consultation and treatments in the form of injection, dressings etc, please send him a message on his Facebook messenger, and make an appointment together with what you would like to barter.

He will only accept fresh vegetables and seafood but not processed items.

About Dr Naidu

Dr Naidu is originally from Nahewa, Nadroga. He is a son of the late, Dr Avinesh Chandra Naidu, who was among the longest serving private medical practitioners with more than 40 years at the Sigatoka Town.

Dr Ashank Naidu attended Natabua High School, before he undertook MBBS at the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) at Patna, Bihar,  in India, from 2006 to 2012.

He completed his post-graduate in family medicine at the Royal College Medical Practitioner (UK); he worked as a civil servant for three years then he followed his dad to become a private practitioner for the past four years.

He is also a final year law student at the University of the South Pacific. He plans to open his third clinic at Nadera in the coming months.

He operates his Namaka Clinic from 9 am till 4 pm, (Monday to Friday) and 1 pm on Saturday.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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