Funds should be allocated towards healthcare, DPM told

January 10, 2024 12:51 pm

Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad reiterates that they are working on improving health centres around the country.

This was his response to concerns raised by Nadi business owner Chedly Khalek, who pointed out inadequacies in hospitals and health facilities.

During the consultation with Nadi businesses last night, Khalek expressed dismay over the apparent diversion of funds away from healthcare, emphasizing the critical need for a robust healthcare system.

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He argues that resources should be allocated more effectively to address the pressing needs of the nation’s health infrastructure.

“Money has been spent on millions of dollars in the airport. Why? To show off that we have a beautiful airport. They made this big road to the airport, just like we have a beautiful, nice road, look what Fiji is all about, they don’t go to the rural area. Hospital, and medical is the most important thing here in this country.”

In response, Deputy Prime Minister Prasad acknowledged the concerns raised and conceded that funds under the previous government might not have been utilized optimally.

Prasad gave an example, stating that instead of constructing a new hospital in Navosa, the focus could have been on upgrading the existing health centre in the area.

He states funds could have then been channelled towards essential equipment, such as state-of-the-art ambulances for critical cases, and directing more funds to improve the Sigatoka Hospital.

“The government’s hope and wish is that in the next two and a half years or three years that we have, at least we can be satisfied that we have improved the health services to an extent, which is important for the tourism industry, which is important for people to stay.”

Prasad stresses the government’s commitment to learning from past mistakes, stating that they would not repeat them.

He adds they have already allocated funding for this specifically.