25 Jul 2007

Outpatients clinics closed in Fiji's Northern Division because of nurses' strike

3:09 pm on 25 July 2007

The Director of Fiji's Northern Health Division, Dr Ami Chandra, says special outpatients clinics have had to be closed because of the nurses' strike.

Almost one thousand nurses around country have walked off their jobs after unsuccessful talks on the restoration of their 5% pay cut.

Dr Chandra, who oversees four hospitals, nineteen health centres, and twenty one nursing stations, says the remaining nurses are having to work longer shifts.

He says they are now on 12 hours, rather than 8, which is a strain for those working.

Dr. Chandra says in Labasa hospital, almost all the services are in place except the special outpatients clinic, but he thinks his division is faring better than others.

"Wards are normal today. Still we're having quite a lot of people or nurses rather reporting to jobs so not too much effect here at the moment, but we'll review the situation as it goes ahead."

Dr. Ami Chandra.

The Fiji Nurses Association says nurses are picketing outside their places of work but will not hold protest marches.

In related news, talks are continuing between the interim Public Service Minister, Poseci Bune and the Fiji Council of Trade Unions, or FICTU, in an attempt to avert their planned strike next week.

FICTU, which includes the Fijian Teachers Union, Viti National Union of Taukei Workers and Public Employees Union, have similar claims to the Fiji Nurses Association.