Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in Fiji

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One of the problems of healthcare in Fiji is the shortage of doctors and nurses, many of whom have either emigrated or resigned since the start of a series of coup d’etat that led to a continuing political turmoil. The structure of the country’s health system consists of three divisions, namely, the Central/Eastern, Western and Northern divisions, with each having a central referral hospital, three division hospitals, 16 sub-divisional hospitals, three specialized hospitals, three area hospitals, a private hospital, 77 health centers, 104 nursing stations, and three homes for the aged or old people. Two major hospitals offer premium health and medical services. They are the Lautoka Hospital in Lautoka, Western Fiji, and the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva that provides advanced medical care as well as emergency and outpatient services. A private hospital in Suva provides Western-style treatment and medical care many other hospitals and clinics can provide only limited healthcare services.

The most common health problems of the Fijians are insect-borne diseases, food and water-borne ailments, hookworm, which can be contracted by walking barefoot, and tuberculosis. The minor health concerns are blisters, sunburn, fungal infections, skin rashes, colds and flu, and insect bites. Serious ailments that require medical emergencies may be referred to the better-equipped hospitals in the United States, Australia or New Zealand. Some hospitals in the country are equipped with ambulances which, although not well-staffed, are important components of medical and healthcare by providing the difference between life and death of the sick and response to the calls for assistance from the afflicted persons.

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