2 Feb 2022

Activist raises concerns about loss of nurses in Fiji

7:44 am on 2 February 2022

A Fijian human rights activist is demanding answers from the authorities after reports that hundreds of nurses in the country are resigning.

According to the media reports, more than 300 nurses are leaving their jobs citing poor employment conditions including suffering from stress, fatigue and lack of compensation.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali said those who were resigning are not speaking out because they fear of victimisation by the health ministry and the government.

Vunisea Hospital in Kadavu.

Vunisea Hospital in Kadavu. Photo: Ministry of Health, Fiji

The health minister Dr Ifireimi Waqainabete said Fiji's health professionals have always been marketable and nurses were resigning due to lucrative opportunities abroad.

But Ms Ali says the resignations are a "serious issue" and the minister and his permanent secretary should not downplay the impact it will have on the country's outdated health infrastructure.

She said that for every nurse that exits the system, further stress is put on existing staff who are forced to pick up the slack.

She added that the State must commit more money to the health sector and develop a clear plan to address the myriad of challenges it is facing, including the exodus of nurses.