19 Apr 2010

Fiji faced with nurses shortage

1:19 pm on 19 April 2010

About 500 new nurses are needed to address Fiji's nursing shortage.

The Fiji Times newspaper reports that new nurses will need to fill the vacuum left by experienced and skilled nurses who retired last year.

The General Secretary of the Fiji Nursing Association, Kuini Lutua, says it lost about 200 nurses last year alone, with only 1,200 nurses left to take on the workload in hospitals and health centres nationwide.

Mrs Lutua says it is an issue which according to the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Iliesa Tora, has affected the sector in the past ten years.

Mr Tora says the shortage of nurses is always there, adding that the intake at the Fiji Nursing School has been increased and graduates of the Sangam Nursing College have been hired.

He says the nursing shortage is not the ministry's making but most nurses are leaving for better deals.