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Brain drain from Fiji Health service stopped: Dr Waqainabete

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete accompanied by Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka during break between session at the Parliament complex in Suva on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Suva, Fiji – February 14, 2019: 3.10pm (FBC NEWS): Fiji’s  Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the public health sector is going through a revitalization with attrition rates now below 10 percent.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Dr Waqainabete said a number of factors have made this possible.

He said that 1987 to 1999, attrition rates soared to over 77 percent as doctors and medical staff left Fiji and the public health sector in droves.

“My graduating class of 1996 of 14, last year one was employed back into the service. Now there’s only two, from the 14, only two remain in the service. The class in the next year, 1997, only two left in the civil service. The class of 1998, I believe, I’ve checked around, unless there’s one left, there’s none left in the service.” he said for example.

With better retention now, Dr Waqanaibete says other than political stability, there are also better working conditions and salaries.

“The starting salary for doctors now is $45,000 (US$21,000) so we’re able to recruit, we’re able to retain. Our highest paid doctors are paid about $140,000 (US$65,000) a year.”

Meanwhile, the Health Minister also noted that there are 804 doctors currently working within the sector with 196 positions vacant.



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