Mini Budget 2022

New Health incentives announced

March 25, 2022 4:40 am

[Source: File Photo]

Good news for Fijians as they will now be able to access various other critical health services for free under the 2021-2022 Revised National Budget.

Economy Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says from early May, open-heart surgery will be made available at the Lautoka Hospital.

This marks the first time in Fiji’s history that this procedure will be available all day throughout the year with its other benefits to be added in the coming months.

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Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted that Fijians who qualify for the free General Practitioner’s program can access a range of health services at no cost.

The Minister states that FijiCare will soon launch a dedicated website for the initiative that contains an online patient information system to streamline the administration of the initiative.

He stresses that funds have been allocated to incentivize private GPs to open up new surgery or clinics in rural areas.

“We’ll incentives them to go there, we’ll pay them some upfront fees and they can be based in these rural areas. People have to travel hours to reach their nearest health facilities to get their medical attention. Through this, we are trying to bring the Doctors and the medical service closer to the people for quick access. We will further support these Doctors and the people they serve by engaging private medical laboratories to analyze blood samples referred by GPs under this program. Our rural inhabitants must have high-quality laboratory results, an essential component for the successful prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses. This is funded at half a million dollars.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says the free GPs scheme will now include free access to dental practitioners.

The government has also set aside funds to outsource biometric machines to fasten services.

The Minister says a total of 135 registered patients are currently receiving the subsidized kidney treatment under the program at the six facilities across the country.

He says 87 treatments are done per month, and the government has allocated $8 million for this treatment.

Sayed-Khaiyum states that the government has allocated $8 million to continue with the free medicine program.

Plans are also in place to expand the Lautoka Hospital and open the new Ba Hospital early next month.