19 Apr 2010

Fiji lacks nurses as they suffer burn-out

1:54 pm on 19 April 2010

The Fiji Nursing Association says a high rate of burn-out on the job has led to a shortage of nurses.

The Association's General Secretary, Kuini Lutua, says the shortage began about a decade ago and the problem has grown.

Mrs Lutua says dropping the retirement age last year led to a big loss of nurses last year and each year 60 out of 100 experienced nurses emigrate.

She says non-communicable diseases and sickness have affected them as well.

"Part of the contributing factor to that is the burn out effect. The over-working of nurses that has caused this mortality and morbidity to increase. And that's a big worry for us. So we're trying to look at areas where we can provide support to nurses."

Kuini Lutua says up to 500 new nurses are needed to reverse the shortage.