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Brain drain in the health sector curbed says Dr. Waqainabete

February 13, 2019 5:02 pm

The public health sector is going through a revitalization with attrition rates now below 10 percent.

Health Minister, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete explains that a number of factors have made this possible.

Speaking in Parliament, Dr. Waqainabete notes that from 1987 to 1999, attrition rates soared to over 77 percent.

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He says doctors and medical staff left Fiji and the public health sector in droves.

“My graduating class of 1996 of 14, last year one was employed back into the service. Now there’s only two, from the 14, only two remain in the service. The class in the next year, 1997, only two left in the civil service. The class of 1998, I believe, I’ve checked around, unless there’s one left, there’s none left in the service.”

With better retention now, Dr. Waqanaibete says other than political stability, there are also better working conditions and salaries.

“The starting salary for doctors now is $45,000 so we’re able to recruit, we’re able to retain. Our highest paid doctors are paid about $140,000 a year.”

Meanwhile, the Health Minister also noted that there are 804 doctors currently working within the sector with 196 positions vacant.

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