|Fiji looks to India for health care advancement|
|The Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma, visited India this week to examine medical facilities and source expertise in various medical areas for Fiji.
The Fiji High commission in New Delhi facilitated the meetings. Fiji’s High Commissioner to New India, Yogesh Karan, said that the Minister had productive discussions with leading medical institutions, hospitals, and research institutes regarding the enhancement of medical facilities in Fiji.
According to the Fiji High Commission in New Delhi, major discussions included the areas of Medical Professionals attachments in leading hospitals, Telemedicine, Oncology, and Advanced Orthopedics. Meanwhile a medical professional from Fiji is attached at Batra Hospital in New Delhi, while another is scheduled for training in India from next month.
The discussions on telemedicine followed the recent visit by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to India during the 41st International Sugar Organization (ISO) Session in Delhi.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide quality clinical health care from a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. It is also used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.
Overall, telemedicine optimizes the organization and delivery of medical and professional resources, reduces the need for patients and their attendants to travel, and allows local health authorities to purchase a far wider range of health care than might be possible within any one geographic region or medical infrastructure.
High Commissioner Karan said that telemedicine could meet the increasing need for accessing quality healthcare, help bridge geographical barriers with the advancement of Technologies enabling digitalization of diagnostic devices. He further said that India is one of the leading nations on this technology and Fiji can benefit immensely.
Meanwhile, the Fijian Government is exploring the options to source high quality pharmaceutical, Dental Oral Surgery and Prosthetic materials from India. Minister Sharma said that expressions of interest through Fiji Government Tenders are currently being invited from India and other countries for the procurement of medical supplies.