31 Mar 2003

Fiji's CWM Hospital covers nursing drain

3:23 pm on 31 March 2003

The Senior Matron at Fiji's Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Kini Filimuna, says the loss of nursing staff is a pattern seen throughout the country's hospitals, not just hers.

Many nurses have left for work overseas, prompting the Colonial War Memorial Hospital to re-hire 35 retired nurses, as well as recruiting 10 part-timers and foreign nurses, mostly from the Philippines.

Records show 438 nurses left Fiji over the past four years, and Mrs Filimuna says those nurses are looking for better working conditions.

"The nursing school there are a lot of nurses wanting to go for training but the resources we have cannot not accommodate the whole lot of them. These other nurses always move for better working conditions, better salary and the prospect for training and all this."

Kini Filimuna says she is still short of a few nurses, but she expects the gap to be filled when the next group of student nurses graduate next week.