Salary restructure to tackle MIT’s shortage

April 23, 2024 6:37 am

[Source: The Pacific Community]

Fiji faces a shortage of skilled Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs), says Health Minister Doctor Atonio Lalabalavu.

He has acknowledged the pressing need to address this shortage and ensure that the workforce is adequately trained and equipped to handle the latest technologies.

Dr Atonio says the issue of MIT shortages has prompted the Ministry to take action.

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The Health Minister says the Department of Radiology has proposed a salary restructure for MITs to incentivize their retention in the public sector.

The Ministry, he notes, is considering offering incentives such as housing and on-call allowances for MITs willing to work in underserved areas, where vacancies are particularly acute.

Dr Atonio says the exodus of MITs from the public sector to the private sector and overseas countries has exacerbated the shortage.

“Despite years of experience, many MITs stagnate in their salary scale, making them susceptible to lucrative offers elsewhere.”

This trend, he states, stresses the urgent need to create pathways for career progression and training opportunities within the public sector.

Dr Atonio says the Fiji National University plays a crucial role in training future MITs.

However, the number of graduates entering the workforce falls short of the demand.

This year, out of 25 graduates produced by FNU, only 11 applied for positions in Fiji, with the majority opting for employment in the private sector. The Minister reiterates that medical imaging is integral to diagnosing and treating various medical conditions, from detecting cancerous tumours to assessing bone fractures.

The introduction of high-quality ultrasound, CT scans and MRI capabilities in public and private sectors has transformed healthcare in Fiji.

However, Doctor Atonio adds that the shortage of skilled MITs threatens the accessibility and effectiveness of these advanced technologies.