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Ministry Realigns Services To Cater For Resigning Nurses

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services contin­ues to realign its services to meet the continuing trend of medical staff resigning and seek­ing health care jobs overseas.
28 Aug 2022 14:45
Ministry Realigns Services To Cater For Resigning Nurses
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong (sixth from left), along with health officials in Taveuni last December. Photo: Sampras Anand

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services contin­ues to realign its services to meet the continuing trend of medical staff resigning and seek­ing health care jobs overseas.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, said the exodus of medical staff is a global issue and not just specific to Fiji.

Dr Fong confirmed that from 2017 until July this year, a total of 518 nurses resigned from the service and this had greatly affected the service delivery to Fijians.

He said the exodus of medical health workers to more developed countries meant that local health staff had vacancies to fill and ex­plore new experiences.

However, the ministry always wished their staff well in their new endeavours.

The staff exodus overseas was related to the imminent burnout and exploring job options per­ceived ‘greener pastures’ and a less stressful work environment.

Dr Fong said the attrition rate for nurses continued to escalate on a daily basis.

This is due to retirement and res­ignation to join other institutions locally and overseas.

However, Dr Fong reaffirmed that despite the limited staff available they continue to provide quality care prescribed to the sick at their various health facilities.

With that shortage, the ministry had realigned its services to cater for the number of nurses on the ground.

Despite the staff retention rate being seemingly low, secondary school students are welcomed to join the profession, but this should be the individual’s own personal choice.

“We would like to have students who have freely opted to join this profession as this will affect their performance and commitment later on after graduation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry is cur­rently processing the application for 255 new nurse positions that had been advertised to fill in these existing vacancies.

Dr Fong said they were open to recruiting former or returnee nurses through their open merit recruitment system.

When questioned on whether a strategic plan would be imple­mented to ensure better staff re­tention rates, he said they had the Nursing Strategic Plan (2022-2024) in place and all relevant stake­holders collaborated to achieve the main goals.

“This could finally have a posi­tive outcome for the nurses,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj



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