27 Jan 2009

Cook Island's hospital resumes full surgery with arrival of fill- in anaesthetist from Fiji

2:38 pm on 27 January 2009

An anaesthetist has arrived in the Cook Islands from Fiji, allowing Rarotonga hospital to resume a full surgical schedule.

After the hospital's anaesthetist fell ill, surgery was put on hold for nearly a week.

The Director of hospital health services, Heather Webber-Aitu, says the hospital had cover in the form of a doctor with anaesthetist training.

She says another full time anaesthetist will be arriving from Papua New Guinea in about three weeks.

"Surgeries are up and running, we're very lucky in the Cooks, that we don't have a waiting list for surgeries because all our elective surgical cases were tidied up last year, so it was a lighter load it was mainly having the cover for emergencies. We had been recruiting this one for the last six months, there is a shortage of anaethetists world wide."


Heather Webber-Aitu says the Cooks Islands still needs three more general practitioners.