Monday 3rd August, 2020
Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Assalamo-alaikum and Noa’ia e mau’ri. We congratulate the Government of Fiji for passing a resilient budget that will allow us to navigate these tough economic times. I believe all the Doctors in the Civil Service collectively breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that there would be no pay-cuts. We extend our gratitude to Honorable Minister for Health and his team for ensuring that all Civil Service Doctors interests are looked after as are those in the Private sector. COVID-19 has affected the whole economy and certainly Private Practitioners and Private Hospitals are no exception. We all agree that a robust and dynamic private sector is crucial in the overall health delivery to a nation. A resilient Private sector is essential to complement and take the load off the busy Public Hospitals and Health Centers. We look forward to visionary leadership and policies that will enable all Doctors in Fiji to survive through these economic hardships.
The Suva Mini-conference on the 25th of July, 2020 was an overwhelming success. It was certainly a moment of catharsis for all the participants who attended and everyone was captivated by the robust debate that started off the whole program. The whole aim of the debate focusing on Fiji’s response to COVID-19 was to take stock of what we did well and identify areas in which we can improve. This aim was certainly achieved in the format of a debate and certainly some issues that may not have been apparent were teased out. Moving forward, the recommendations and resolutions that came from the debate will be essential in our ongoing battle against COVID-19. The second session focused on “Professional responsibility in Social Media” and this session was very well received as participants not only heard from 2 Lawyers and PS Health, but they had the opportunity to engage in discussions afterwards. Doubts and queries were addressed and we were all wiser in terms of how to be social media savvy. The final session which dealt with clinical material from well-respected clinicians, was also on-point and well received and appreciated. We hope to continue with these broad themes in our West Mini-Conference which will be held at the prestigious Radisson Blue Resort in Denarau on 29/08/2020. Spaces are limited so I encourage you all to register early to avoid disappointment. Our final mini-conference in the North will be held on 03/10/2020 and we will be revealing venue details closer to the date.
Fiji, as a nation has done an outstanding job in curtailing COVID-19. Despite this, we had our first mortality and this should serve as a reminder to us all regarding the seriousness of this illness. One battle won does not equate to the war being over and we have to maintain our vigilance and, as Doctors, continue to provide exemplary leadership so that we have the minimal number of cases and mortalities possible. It is a testimony to excellence in leadership and decision making and certainly to our people embracing the messages of hand-hygiene and social distancing that we have not had any community spread to date. Let us fight to keep it this way.
Vinaka vakalevu, Khuda Hafiz, Daniyabaad and Fa’eksia
Dr Basharat Munshi
Fiji Medical Association