20 Oct 2010

Fewer Fiji nurses go overseas to work

10:04 am on 20 October 2010

The Fiji Nurses Association says there's been a big drop in the number of nurses looking for employment abroad.

Secretary general, Kuini Lutua, says up to seventy nurses have been leaving each year mostly to Australia and New Zealand, contributing to Fiji's nurse shortage.

But she says about half that number has resigned so far this year due to fewer available jobs overseas, new English tests in those countries and Fiji's new earlier retirement age.

"It has given opportunities for middle managers to be promoted. These are the category of nurses normally looking abroad. They are able to get into those positions of leadership."

But Ms Lutua says Fiji still needs about 200 more nurses and more training to gear up a younger brigade of caregivers.