Closing care gap for cancer patients is vital : Chan

January 19, 2024 6:17 am

The Fiji Cancer Society has emphasized the need to close the care gap for cancer patients.

Society Chief Executive Belinda Chan says this gap remains open due to the limited availability of fully functional operating theaters, hindering the timely treatment of cancer patients.

Chan says the issue with operational theaters has led to a persistent backlog in cancer surgeries, which is impacting individuals who require prompt surgical intervention.

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“So the backlog is attributed to the fact that not all the theater operating theaters are fully functional. And it’s something that we’d like the ministry to actually look into because surgery for cancer patients is being delayed unnecessarily.”

Chan highlights that society bears the allowance when the surgeries are scheduled after hours on weekdays or over the weekend when the theaters are less busy.

Meanwhile, Acting Permanent Secretary for Health Dr. Jemesa Tudravu says staffing is a major issue faced by the Health Ministry in manning the operating theaters.

Dr. Tudravu acknowledges that the attrition of nurses is also affecting the ministry but assures that they’re addressing it. He adds that they are also working on sorting out the infrastructure issues as well.