18 May 2010

Baby boom affects quality of care at Fiji's main hospital

3:07 pm on 18 May 2010

The head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Fiji's main hospital in Suva says a baby boom over the last four months is starting to affect the quality of care for women in labour.

Dr James Fong says his unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital has the resources to cope with 6000 births a year and it's now having to deal with 8000.

An unprecedented nine hundred babies were born there in March and Dr Fong says staff are starting to feel the pressure.

"It has also meant that we have some difficulty in sustaining good quality monitoring of women in labour. It has led to some difficult situations but not over and above previous trends in terms of morbidity to babies and mothers."

Dr Fong says while the surge at CWM may be partly due to mistrust of smaller hospitals, the bigger issue is urban drift and the hospital is feeling the pressure generally.