Republic of Fiji
18,274 km2 (7,056 sq mi)
The Republic of Fiji is a South Pacific country and comprises over 100 inhabited and 200 uninhabited islands. Fiji became independent from the United Kingdom in 1970. Today, it is a parliamentary democracy where the president is the head of state. The president appoints the prime minister who is the head of government. The majority of Fiji’s revenues come from forestry, minerals, fish, sugar cane and tourism industries. Tourism is one of the main contributors to Fiji’s economy and is its main source of foreign exchange.
The WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific, located in Suva, Fiji, operates under the umbrella of the Western Pacific regional office, and our role is to act as a catalyst and advocate for action at all levels, from local to global, on health issues of public concern. We work together with a broad spectrum of partners from all sectors of society. WHO is involved in a host of closely related public health activities; including research, evaluation, raising awareness and resource mobilisation.
Representative in the South Pacific: Dr Corinne Capuano
Address: Level 4 Provident Plaza One Downtown Boulevard 33 Ellery Street, Suva, Fiji
Telephone: (679) 3234100
In 2015, the leading causes of death in Fiji were diabetes (19.7%), ischaemic diseases (16.6%) and hypertensive diseases (4.8%). The leading causes of morbidity were diseases of the circulatory system and respiratory system and certain infectious and parasitic diseases. Fiji’s STEPS survey report showed that the prevalence of obesity was 42% while the prevalence of raised blood pressure was 29.3% and prevalence of raised blood glucose was 14.4% among the adult population aged 18-64 years in 2011. Approximately 40% of tertiary health-care costs were attributed to NCD treatment in 2011, while 18.5% were attributed to the treatment of communicable diseases.
Health services are delivered through 98 nursing stations, 84 health centres, 17 subdivisional hospitals and three divisional hospitals. There are two speciality hospitals, namely Tamavua P.J. Twomey Hospital with TB, leprosy and medical rehabilitation units, and St Giles Hospital, which provides mental health services.
The private health sector infrastructure includes two private and two semi-private hospitals.
The Ministry of Health is the second largest employer of salaried public servants in the government. The almost 3500 established posts represent nearly 70% of the health workforce, while the rest consists of government wage-earners in unestablished posts. Nurses represent almost two-thirds of the health workforce and provide a full range of services from Public Health care to acute care; more than half work in the three divisional hospitals and two specialist hospitals. The majority of Fiji’s medical workforce is now concentrated in urban hospitals with the shortage of doctors most marked in rural areas.
The private sector is an integral component of the Fiji health care system and one which has seen significant growth since the opening of the Suva Private Hospital in 2001.
Ministry of health & Medical services
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has oversight of the Ministry, supported by an Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services. A Permanent Secretary and two Deputy Secretaries for Public Health and Hospital Services provide oversight of operational functions. The Ministry of Health is the second largest employer of established staff among government ministries.
Health training institutions
Fiji is home to three universities: Fiji National University (FNU), the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the University of Fiji. All three have their main campus in Fiji.
FNU offers graduate and postgraduate degrees in a variety of fields, including medicine, engineering, agriculture, business, and humanities. It also has a National Training and Productivity Centre, where trade-based courses can be undertaken. For furthering health skills and knowledge, the University’s College of Medicine offers several postgraduate degrees and diplomas. The College has two campuses in Suva, as well as one in Tamavua and one in Lautoka.
Fiji National University, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Address: Samabula Fiji, Lakeba Street, Samabula
Contact Keshmi Sharm, Executive Officer
Phone: (679) 323 3202
Fax: (679) 330 3469
Programme in Nursing, Medicine, Medical Sciences, Dentistry, Nutrition and Dietetics, Public health, Epidemiology, Health Promotion, Environmental Health, Health Sciences Management, Laboratory sciences, Radiology and Medical Imaging, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Biomedical Engineering
The University of the South Pacific has campuses in 12 Pacific Island countries. However, the campus in Fiji is the largest. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in several fields, including science, law and business. There are also a variety of opportunities to conduct research at USP, as well as workshops and expos on getting into the workforce.
University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva
Phone: 323 1000
Programme in Nutrition and Dietetics, Psychology
The University of Fiji is based in Lautoka and is Fiji’s newest tertiary institution. It offers courses up to postgraduate level on topics such as biology, chemistry, communications and accounting. Lautoka is also home to Umanand Prasad School of Medicine (UPSM), which is a private medical school.
University of Fiji, Umanand Prasad School of Medicine
Saweni Campus, Lautoka
Samabula Campus, Suva
(+679) 6640600; 9999100
Programme in Medicine
The Sangam Nursing School was established in 2005 in Labasa in the Northern Division; it uses a curriculum adopted from the Fiji School of Nursing and approved by the Fiji Nurses and Midwives & Nurse Practitioners Board, and Labasa hospital provides teaching facilities for students.
Sangam School of Nursing
Sangam Nursing Office
Sangam Avenue, Labasa.
Programme in nursing
Programme in ophthalmology
The University of Fiji: The University was established in the NGO sector. The original Charter was replaced in August 2011 by The University of Fiji Decree 26 of 2011 which makes the following provisions: University Council. Part 4, 15:2 The Council shall have the powers to…. (i) on the recommendation of the Senate to institute degrees, Diplomas and Certificates and other academic distinctions or awards; (j) on the recommendation of the Senate to approve new programmes of study and the structure of such programmes. Senate. Parts 5, 28:2 The Senate shall have the powers to (a) regulate and control all teaching programmes and courses of study under which persons may qualify for the various Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates …..(b) make recommendations to the Council for the institution of Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates and other distinctions and awards.
Senate of the Fiji National University. University and Student Regulations, 2013, Part IV: Program Approval and review pp.35. 1.2 No programme shall be offered by any College unless such programme has been approved by the Senate. p.36. 2.3 Programmes shall be externally reviewed every 4 years, except for the MBBS programme which should be reviewed every 6 years. For programmes, which are externally accredited, reviews shall also be conducted as per accreditation requirements. (Note: this comment may reveal some misunderstanding of the role of external assessors – they don’t accredit courses directly but make recommendations to the Senate).
Council of the University of the South Pacific: Charter of the University of the South Pacific 1970 – (d) To provide through programmes and courses of study and otherwise instruction and training at such levels and by such means, including extramural tuition, as the University may think fit and to make provision for consultancy and research and for the maintenance, advancement and dissemination of knowledge in such manner as the University may determine. Statutes of the University of the South Pacific: Powers, Duties and Functions of the Council – 21 – (f) On the recommendation of the Senate, to institute degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions or awards; 29 Powers of the Senate – (b) To recommend to the Council the institution of degrees, diplomas, certificates and other distinctions and awards.
USP Council on the advice of USP Senate
Council and Senate Secretariat (CSS)
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji
Tel: +679 323 2249
Fiji Medical Council and Fiji Dental Council: Fiji Medical and Dental Practitioners Decree 2010. 13.-(1 & 2) Each Council (Medical and Dental) must establish a Professional Standards Committee consisting of appropriate professional and other representatives. (7) The functions of a Professional Standards Committee are to— (a) monitor every training course for medical or dental students, as the case may be, within tertiary education facilities in Fiji; (b) make recommendations to the relevant Council concerning recognition of degrees awarded, in Fiji or elsewhere, as qualification for registration on the appropriate register; qualifications. Qualifications for registration: 40.- (1) Each Council must specify the academic or professional qualifications and clinical experience that are required for registration on the medical or dental register and for inclusion in a vocational category. (2) Each Council must specify the medical or dental training courses in Fiji that will be recognised for registration as a medical or dental student, as the case may be. (3) The qualifications and courses that have been recognised by each Council must be published in the Gazette and on the Council or Secretariat website. (4) In specifying qualifications and courses under this section, each Council must be responsive to global developments in the sciences, and in registration and licensing requirements for the medical and dental professions.
The Fiji Higher Education Commission allows for 2 pathways for accreditation depending on the legal status of the education provider. If the provider is established under its own legislation, the Commission requires only registration of the programmes accredited by the University’s Senate. If the programme is provided by other non-statutory providers, a process is required that entails both the registration of the provider and the accreditation of the programme.
World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) standards
Geography and demographics
The Republic of Fiji is a South Pacific country and comprises over 100 inhabited and 200 uninhabited islands. Fiji became independent from the United Kingdom in 1970. Today, it is a parliamentary democracy where the president is the head of state. The president appoints the prime minister who is the head of government. The majority of Fiji’s revenues come from forestry, minerals, fish, sugar cane and tourism industries. Tourism is one of the main contributors to the Fiji’s economy and is its main source of foreign exchange.
Fiji became independent from the United Kingdom in 1970. Today, it is a parliamentary democracy where the Prime Minister is the head of government and the President is the head of state. The parliament of Fiji is unicameral, with 50 members that are elected every four years.
Tourism is one of the main contributors to the Fiji’s economy and is its main source of foreign exchange. Other aspects of the service sector are also successful, such as finance and transport. Merchandise exports such as water, sugar and fish also play an important role, and agriculture is also an important source of income. Fiji’s currency is the Fijian Dollar.
Fiji is famous for its abundance of coral reefs, and is a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. Other outdoor activities include sailing, surfing, caving and hiking. Fiji’s year-round tropical weather means that its white sandy beaches can be visited in any season. To experience some of the incredible marine life, there is bird watching, diving with sharks and snorkelling with sea turtles. For those more interested in cultural heritage, Fiji’s local villages and traditional arts and handicrafts offer something for everyone.
WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2018-2022: Fiji
Access Fiji country profile (CHIPS 2015-2016)
Health Service Delivery
National immunisation data – EPI summaries by country
NCD country profiles
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