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February, 2020


Friday 28th February, 2020

Dear Members

Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Assalamo-alaikum and Noa’ia e mau’ri. I swear to you I blinked and February was over!!!

Colleagues, time is flying past and as the proverbial saying goes "Life goes by in the blink of an eye" it is important that we do take time out to appreciate our own achievements and that of our colleagues. One such distinguished Gentleman who is perhaps aptly labeled the "Godfather of Surgery in Fiji" and who I had the honor and privilege to train under and then work with as a colleague is Professor Eddie McCaig. Professor McCaig finally hung up his scalpel earlier this year after a distinguished 45year career spanning from 1975 to 2020. Many of us are probably thinking "Wow, I haven’t been alive that long!!" That is the longevity of service that Prof has provided predominantly to our beloved nation. He has been the "The Man" at the forefront in bringing post-graduate training to The Fiji School of Medicine and the countless number of Doctors that he has trained and mentored over the years cannot be fathomed. He is also an FMA life-member and his contribution to the Fiji Medical association as an Executive member and as President was immense. The Doctors of Fiji and indeed the public at large will forever be grateful for his immense service to the medical profession. As a small token of appreciation, a farewell conference followed by a dinner is being organized in his honor on the 6th of March, 2020. If you wish to attend, please contact Dr Savenaca Rusaqoli on mail or phone 2926062. As the interest is high and spaces are limited, I would encourage those that are interested to secure your tickets ASAP.

The scientific program for our FMA conference is almost finalized and I would like to thank our executive council members especially Dr Sailosi Ratumaitavuki and FMA Vice-President Assistant Professor Amanda Hill for their leadership in this respect. We will hopefully be sending out the program to you in the not too distant future. I can assure you that we have taken your critique from last year’s conference on board in the planning process for this year and this year's program will have a range of topical themes covered by world renowned speakers. We will also be having a lot more workshops this year covering areas such as Trauma, Outbreak preparedness, Lifestyle medicine, Ultrasonography in the GP setting and more!!! Exciting times are ahead colleagues and I do implore you to register and book your accommodations as early as possible to take advantage of the discounts on offer. We have done the Math for you and the cost per head for registration plus accommodation for 3 nights at The Shangri-La Fijian resort will be $1, 595.00. This cost can be substantially lowered if some of you share rooms. Even so, the $1, 595.00 is still within the 5% CME allowance budget even for interns so I urge you all to take advantage of this opportunity as all your CME requirements for re-registration next year will be met.

Last, but certainly not the least, I would like to thank the MOH Health Protection unit, The Fiji CDC, the various clinicians in CWMH, Lautoka and Labasa Hospitals as well as the Laboratory staff, Health Inspectors, Infection control personal from Cent-East, West and North plus the Private sector Practitioners for their participation and contribution towards the contingency plan against the Novel Coronavirus. As you may be aware, it is now in Pandemic proportions and I am proud to say that the Fiji Health system has had its finger on the pulse from the start of the epidemic by having weekly Taskforce meetings and recently there was a Coronavirus training program organized by the MOH involving all the above mentioned stakeholders. There are various strategies in place already from border control and monitoring to home isolation for asymptomatic travellers from countries that have coronavirus to Health center and hospital level preparedness for rapid isolation, testing and treatment measures. I assure you that whatever questions you have, has been asked in these various forums and evidence based measures as recommended by the World Health Organization implemented. We were able to contain measles and I am confident that this Coronavirus outbreak will also be contained. I urge you all to have faith in the system, inform and educate yourselves in regards to what the strategic plans for your Division are and ensure that the facility you work in is ready to get the wheels in motion should a suspected case present to your doorstep.

Beware the ides of March!!!

Stay blessed.

Vinaka vakalevu, Khuda Hafiz, Daniyabaad and Fa’eksia

Dr Basharat Munshi
Fiji Medical Association