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Budget 2020-21

Ministry of Health maintains its focus on improving health

July 18, 2020 4:55 pm
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. [File Photo]

While the coronavirus pandemic has been a blow to all sectors, this will not hinder the Ministry of Health’s effort to improve people’s health.

The Health Ministry has received an allocation of $394.3million, an increase of $44.5m from last year.

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had announced that the Government will be funding the hiring of 223 intern nurses, 40 midwives, and the advancement of 105 medical interns to become full-time medical officers, now that they’ve completed their one year of intern service.

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Moving forward, internships for doctors will be two years.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says he is glad that the Government continues to put the health of the nation first and reach out to those who are vulnerable.

“The ability to be able to employ more staff in this COVID phenomenon that’s been faced not only by Fiji but all around the world and one thing that has become very clear is that the supplementary budget that was given to us in March this year has really supported us and made sure that we are able to reach where we are with COVID. But the fact that we actually continue to be resourced more and more, it ensures that we are able to have resources at hand to be able to do what needs to be done to protect the health of the nation but also help with the economic recovery of the nation at large.”

Meanwhile, the public-private partnership agreement with Aspen Medical to revamp the Ba and Lautoka hospitals has been further delayed for one year.

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says conducting business across borders has become especially difficult and the PPP has been near impossible with passenger air travel on hold between Fiji and Australia.

He says in the meantime, they will be working with the Australian Investment Fund for the Pacific to progress the partnership’s preconditions.

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