Con­grat­u­la­tions Health Min­is­ter

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

De­wan Chand, Na­madi Heights

I write to warmly con­grat­u­late the Min­is­ter for Health, Jone Usa­mate for his no non­sense at­ti­tude to­wards the pro­vi­sion of health ser­vices at our hos­pi­tals and health cen­ters. He is sim­ply not pre­pared to ac­cept sub­stan­dard per­for­mance from the med­i­cal staff and the hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tors.

It is for this rea­son he has de­cided to visit hos­pi­tals and health cen­tres and see in per­son the prob­lems which ex­ist there. This should help to erad­i­cate a num­ber of prob­lems which ex­ist be­cause of sheer lack­adaisi­cal (lack­ing en­thu­si­asm and de­ter­mi­na­tion) at­ti­tude and neg­li­gence of ad­min­is­tra­tors. In April this year, my daugh­ter was ac­ci­dently burnt and I took her to Nuffield Clinic, Ta­mavua, which is not de­signed to cater for se­vere burns. Hence she was trans­ferred to Colo­nial War Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal. For two days she spent time in the Namosi-Tailevu Ward. I was hor­ri­fied to see the con­di­tion of the ward. The women’s toi­let was filthy and had no lights. The hand basin near the bed dis­played a coloured chart out-lin­ing six steps to wash­ing hands. Alas, there was no soap, no hand towel and the hand basin looked very an­cient. A di­lap­i­dated liq­uid soap dis­penser had no soap, a sad state of af­fairs for the largest hos­pi­tal in our coun­try.

She was even­tu­ally trans­ferred to the Burns Unit, an ul­tra modern ad­di­tion to the hos­pi­tal. Here the fa­cil­i­ties are ex­cel­lent and the staff very ef­fi­cient and cour­te­ous, with a few ex­cep­tions. The burns pa­tients are kept far apart to pre­vent in­fec­tion and the vis­it­ing hours were strictly ad­hered to. How­ever, the pres­ence of flies was an an­noy­ing fac­tor. Maybe fly-catch­ers should be in­stalled. The wait­ing room for rel­a­tives out­side the op­er­a­tion the­atres is a very un­com­fort­able place. Poor cross ven­ti­la­tion and lack of fan and proper toi­let fa­cil­i­ties for men is trau­matic. Men were forced to use the women’s toi­lets, which too was not in a good con­di­tion. Out of three only one was func­tional. This is sim­ply an un­ac­cept­able con­di­tion. For some odd rea­son, the hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion switches off ex­te­rior lights, soon af­ter the vis­it­ing hours, cov­er­ing the car park. One night af­ter vis­it­ing my daugh­ter I was go­ing to­wards my car in the dark and had a fall in the Am­bu­lance Bay be­cause there was no ramp to the foot­path. Lucky for me at the age of 72, I did not break any bones. How­ever, I had to un­dergo an xray ex­am­i­na­tion be­cause of the bruises and mus­cu­lar pains which per­sisted for weeks.

In my view, the ex­te­rior lights should be left on for safety and se­cu­rity rea­sons.

Vis­i­tors to the hos­pi­tal can eas­ily be robbed in the dark. Dur­ing heavy rains the New Wing leaks in a num­ber of places, the most sig­nif­i­cant one be­ing the one right in front of the emer­gency re­cep­tion desk. A huge plas­tic basin sits there on a rainy day. I am sure this can be eas­ily fixed.

I ap­peal to all as­so­ci­ated with our hos­pi­tals and health cen­tres to take pride in their work and make it wel­com­ing and com­fort­able for all those who use its ser­vices.

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