Fiji is a country in the South Pacific comprised of 300 islands. It is known for its rugged landscapes and palm-lined beaches. As a developing country, it is still important to look at the health aspects of the country, especially on how healthcare is being developed and making a sustainable impact. This article will give five facts about Healthcare in Fiji.
5 Facts about Healthcare in Fiji
- Most public healthcare in rural areas is quite basic and inefficient. Most people have to travel hours for treatment and endure long waits for assistance because of understaffing. This especially affects Fijians living in the least developed areas. Most of the private hospitals are in Suva or Nadi. Here, they have 24-hour medical centers where accommodations of fairly decent, but the centers lack diagnostic equipment.
- Most poorer areas in Fiji started receiving benefits in 2008. It is why the poorer areas are slowly improving and upgrading their healthcare. Since 2017, the government has dedicated more than 70% of spending is to healthcare in Fiji. These spendings also include private hospitals and clinics. Slightly more of this spending goes to improving resources for impoverished communities.
- In 2019, Fiji’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) became the first team in the Pacific islands to be capable of international deployment. It can respond across the Pacific with a range of medical attention for “up to 100 patients per day.” This includes clinical care services and severe trauma or non-trauma emergencies. This is a helpful start considering some staff needs more training, and in some cases, emergency services can be slow.
- The population was around 884,887 people on the islands in 2017, with Viti Levu and Vanua Levu being the most populated islands. The health system is slowly improving in different areas. The Burnet Institute from Australia is bringing government and community leaders along with health experts to develop more effective prevention and treatment for dengue fever and diabetes including other known common diseases. This also includes finding more helpful care strategies. According to The World Health Organization, life expectancy rates have started to improve slightly. By 2018, rates were at 67.34. In 1995, they were at 65.15.
- The Fijian government made an effort to make sure Fijians have access to healthy, safe water in 2018. It took part in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Summit. The government began working on the National Development Plan to make sure low developed areas would also receive 100% access to healthy water services. That same year, about 12% of Fijians didn’t have full clean water access. The National Water and Sanitation Policy are also supporting this governmental effort, which will improve diseases from spreading rapidly.
These five facts about Healthcare in Fiji show that it is still developing its healthcare system. Healthcare workers are currently upgrading emergency assistance and effective medications for the most common diseases. Now, with Covid-19 spreading, there is a wait for vaccines and more personal healthcare attention. Overall there have been some improvements and some that are taking more time.
– Rachel Hernandez