Reluctance of doctors to serve in rural areas an issue

May 19, 2024 7:54 am

The Ministry of Health has revealed a deeply concerning trend where doctors are increasingly reluctant to be posted to rural and maritime communities.

Permanent Secretary Doctor Jemesa Tudravu admits this, saying it is posing significant challenges to healthcare accessibility and quality in these areas.

Dr Tudravu emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance between incoming and outgoing doctors to ensure a steady increase in the healthcare workforce and meet the evolving needs of Fiji’s population.

Article continues after advertisement

“We are not getting there. So there’s an obvious maldistribution. We have the doctors, we have the people who can fill the positions, but they’re not distributed into where the Ministry wants them. And over the last two years, we’ve been really struggling to fill these positions because the doctors don’t want to go there. They don’t want to get posted to the rural.”

Dr.Tudravu says these new doctors are distributed between the Ministry of Health and the private sector, reflecting the growing presence of private healthcare facilities in Fiji.

The Fiji Medical Association held its mini-conference in Suva yesterday where doctors, general practitioners and interns attended to discuss on topics associated with their work and ways to help develop their service in the health sector.