A study on Sustainable Healthcare Financing in Fiji and Timor Leste (SHIFT) that looked at improving the finances of health service delivery was conducted recently.
The SHIFT study findings were launched by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate at Holiday Inn.
The positive results of the study found that Fiji’s poor are getting a fair share of benefits from domestic government spending on healthcare. Fiji’s rich are contributing more of their income towards financing the health system which is good for equity.
The study measured the extent to which different socio-economic groups benefit from public subsidies for health through their use of health services and how the burden of financing the health system is distributed across socio-economic groups.
Mr Usamate said that the SHIFT report assessed the fairness of healthcare financing in Fiji and provides information on whether Fiji’s healthcare financing system is making progress towards “Health for All’.
“This report is very timely because it provides the Ministry with evidence on how we can further improve the financing of health service delivery to ensure that everyone in Fiji can freely access healthcare services without financial hardship”.
The aim of the SHIFT study was to assess equity in health financing in Fiji. The report seeks to inform about how fair the current health financing system is and where attention is needed for improvement. Fiji is seeking to deepen its commitment to equitable access to health care and make Universal Health Coverage (UHC) a reality.
Meanwhile, the study was conducted in collaboration with Fiji National University’s Centre for Health Information Systems and Policy (CHIPSR) and the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS). It was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Australian Development Research Awards (ADRAs) scheme.
The Minister For Health and Medical services Mr Jone Usamate discusses a point with an agriculture official at the world Food Day celebrations in Kalabu
“Make time for wellness or make time for illness” was the powerful message sent out to the children and the public at the World food day celebrations 2015 at Kalabu Primary School.
While launching the program The Minister for Health and Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate said that people must practice healthy living by having healthy diets for a longer life.
Mr Usamate added that while we need food to live, we must eat healthy foods as they contribute much to our healthy wellbeing.
“We need food to live our lives. Without food, we will die in a very short time. With the wrong food eaten, you will quickly get illnesses of NCD nature. It is very important then that we eat healthy meals of good nutritious value”.
While Fijians are urged to concentrate on their diets, the government through the MoHMS has pledged to address the issue by providing social protection in line with this year’s theme: “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty’’.
Social protection includes many different things designed to address the vulnerability of people’s lives and livelihoods, for example:
- Social insurance, offering protection against risk and adversity throughout life.
- Social assistance, offering payments and in kind transfers to support and enable the poor.
- Social inclusion efforts that enhance the capability of the marginalized to participate fully in economic and social life and to access social protection and other social services.
These social protection measures provide several opportunities for people to lead fruitful and productive lives and to emerge out of poverty.
It’s a fact of life that people who don’t eat well are not healthy and they do not have energy to work and remain poor or even get worse.
Mr Usamate also highlighted some of the government policies to provide social protection which is a strong priority of the government, such as provision of milk to children, the food voucher program, pension benefits for citizens over 70, etc.
The Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar with a prize recipient for the poster competition.
“We should identify ourselves as hygiene champions to create a strong social norm of good hygiene in our homes, office, communities and region”, was the message from the Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar while launching the Global Hand Washing Day.
The Ministry of Health & Medical Services in partnership with Colgate Palmolive celebrated Global Hand Washing Day at St Joseph the walker Primary school in Nasinu with the theme “Raise a hand for hygiene”.
The school students are targeted as they are instrumental for behavioural change.
The benefits of hand washing drills in schools and creating awareness around the importance of washing hand before eating and after visiting toilet facilities has made a huge impact in the decline of communicable diseases worldwide.
This campaign is dedicated to raising awareness on hand washing with soap as the most effective and inexpensive way of preventing infection.
Mrs Bhatnagar said that everyone should practice hand washing as promoting health is everybody’s business.
“Even though this event initially targeted school children, the focus should also be on our mothers & fathers, family members and teachers who have a lot of influence on the health of our children, to help supervise and establish hand washing practices”, Mrs Bhatnagar said.
Global Hand Washing day is commemorated in the month of October annually.