Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services has recently announced a pay rise based on a merit system for the entire civil health sector, resulting in a drastic increase in the number of nurses enrolling in higher qualification programs.
The establishment of the University of Fiji’s medical school, the Umanand Prasad School of Medicine (UPSM), has also increased the opportunities for health care professionals to seek higher education. On top of this, UPSM has recently launched the Bachelor of Nursing bridging program from its Saweni Campus in Lautoka. The program allows nurses with a Diploma in Nursing to upgrade their qualification to a Bachelor’s degree.
Sub-divisional medical officer Dr Vineet Chand, also a final year student undertaking his Master of Public Health, is very adamant about continuing professional development (CPD) for his staff at Rakiraki hospital.
The 30 bed Rakiraki hospital is located in the Western division of Vitilevu, in the province of Ra. The hospital caters for approximately 42,535 outpatients and more than 1000 inpatients on an annual basis.
Dr Vineet encouraged nurses to undertake the initiative and responsibility to upgrade their skills in order to meet the changing demands of the health system. He acknowledged POLHN’s contribution to the development of the Fijian health workforce through its sponsorship for postgraduate study.
Additionally, POLHN’s self-paced courses provide a flexible learning environment to shift workers. Its mobile compatible online platform enables health workers to access courses from their personal devices while waiting for the establishment of the new POLHN centre at the hospital.
Edited by: Margaret Goydych