NEWS

New, Upgraded Hospital Equipment To Benefit Fijians, Save Govt Costs

“Since starting neurosurgical service in Fiji more than seven years ago, we have spent close to FJ$1million in overseas referrals for neurosurgical patients as we did not have this cutting-edge microscope. We will now be able to make these savings with our acquiring this specialised equipment and with the support systems and processes we have built over the years.
07 Apr 2022 11:52
New, Upgraded Hospital Equipment To Benefit Fijians, Save Govt Costs
CWMH Neurosurgeon Dr Alan Biribo explains how the new state-of-the-art Neuro Surgical Microscope works to Ministry of Health & Medical Services Assistant Media Liason Officer Luke Rawalai yesterday.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is continuing to upgrade equipment in public hospitals to ensure that all Fijians have better access to health care.

The provision of the new state-of-the-art ZEISS TIVATO 700 Neuro Surgical Microscope at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva will save the Government close to a million dollars in referral fees.

The new microscope, which costs $673,000, will allow local surgeons to treat deep-seated intraventricular tumors in the brain’s waterways.

The new neurosurgical microscope is expected to broaden the spectrum of spine surgeons’ clinical applications.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said the ministry had a routine replacement programme that occurs every three to four years.

Dr Alan Biribo, a neurosurgeon, explained the advantages of the new cutting-edge equipment by saying that expenses for referrals of brain surgical cases were dependent on the referral locations.

Referrals to India, for example, cost between FJ$31,000 to FJ$41,000, while referrals to Australia and New Zealand cost around FJ$201,000, depending on the centre to which patients were sent to.

“The above costing covers a broad range of surgical conditions and their treatment and we will know the actual values once we begin to operate and treat the cases and ascertain the comparable costs of the surgical care we have provided through the use of this high-end operating equipment,” Dr Biribo said.

“Since starting neurosurgical service in Fiji more than seven years ago, we have spent close to FJ$1million in overseas referrals for neurosurgical patients as we did not have this cutting-edge microscope. We will now be able to make these savings with our acquiring this specialised equipment and with the support systems and processes we have built over the years.

“One of the features of the Tivato 700 which sets it apart from the earlier models of the machine is that it is more maneuverable making the surgical procedure a lot easier to carry out and very efficient in addressing the surgical pathology.

“It has great teaching aids such as a large attached TV monitor, various outputs for further viewing ports and also Wi-Fi access teaching stations outside the theater meaning that we can operate at the theatre and beam images of the operation to a room 50 meters away.”

Dr Biribo said apart from this the microscope also had a feature that allowed surgeons to diagnose tumors which could not be done with untrained eyes.

“So it’s got all these features to improve patient care, safety of the surgery and obviously improve outcomes for these neuro-surgical cases.

“In general, the microscope helps access the very deep and inaccessible structures of the brain, which increases the scope of neurosurgical work that we can do and thereby increasing the number of patients we can successfully treat in Fiji without the need for overseas medical referrals.

“I think it’s a big plus for patients because we can treat more of them with this equipment here locally who would otherwise have to be referred abroad for services.”

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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