Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar says the FijiFirst Government has progressively increased her ministry’s budget over the past years.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Ms Akbar said with the 2017/18 Budget, the FijiFirst Government delivered an increase of over $77million, almost one third, within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ budget.
The total budget for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services was $321.2m, comprising of $251.6m for operating expenditure, $56.7m for capital expenditure and $13m in respect of VAT.
In addition, a total of $66.5m was provided through the Ministry of Civil Service to fund doctors’ salaries, gratuities and trainings.
As such the overall health sector budget amounts to $387.7m.
She said this was because the population in some parts of our country was growing rapidly and health services needed to keep up with those changes, especially in the busy Suva-Nausori corridor, the most familiar example.
In other places, older facilities were no longer fit-for-purpose.
“Thus the Government has taken the initiative to build new or extended hospitals and health centres like Makoi, Ba, Navosa, Nakasi, the new Waimaro Health Centre and Rotuma together with the extension of the Maternity Unit in Suva’s CWM Hospital,” Ms Akbar said.
“These are the results of all the reviews and planning that has been done in all these years.
“It reflects on the FijiFirst Government’s ongoing commitment to increase the accessibility of health services for all Fijians.”
The 2017/18 Budget provides funding for an additional 150 doctors and 200 nurses which will greatly improve doctor/population and nurse/population ratios. This will result in the nurse population ratio of 38 nurses per 10,000population.
MoH engaged in a paradigm shift to nursing specialisation where they identified 412 specialist positions out of the 800 nursing specialist positions in the current budget.
With the recruitment of these additional staff we now witnessed the Valelevu Health Centre operating on a 24/7 hour basis.