Fiji Society of Medical Imaging Technologists Council Annual Conference 2014
Minister for Health – Dr. Neil Sharma
I am delighted to be with you all today.
Medical Imaging is an integral part of modern day healthcare delivery. This is more so in the Area of Maternal and Child Health in this day and age.
Fiji Has moved forward dramatically in this area in the last 5 years. With improved quality of ultrasound technology, computerized axial tomography and more recently MRI, Fiji is well equipped to meet the challenges of reducing maternal & Child morbidity and mortality as an international commitment to our MDG’s.
As the World plans ahead towards the Post 2015 Development agenda it is pragmatic to address this topic nationally and to review our gaps and challenges. Strategies for the next 15 years in the Post 2015 Development Agenda are now needed collectively. Socio-Economic development is underpinned on a positive health and educational platform.
Health delivery cannot suffice on just efficient clinical skills alone any more. Technological advances will assist in earlier diagnosis and likewise Clinical/Surgical intervention will optimize outcomes in the area of MCH.
Traditionally when Ultrasound was introduced in Fiji with the support of the Fiji Medical Association fund raising, the scepticism was keen to advise caution. That was also a feature when CT Scans and more recently MRI was introduced by government. Although the steady March on improved technological applications will need its checks and balances we must grow with the technology.
Fiji as the largest Pacific Small Island Development States (PSIDS) has great potential for growth and development in “ Health Tourism”. Not developing our health services is definitely not an option but a deterrent to progressing health care delivery.
The issues of Medical Imaging in Fiji currently is to train and retain our younger technologists and professionals in Imaging services. There is a greater need to address distribution and equity of manpower as we rationalize the workforce ie: with new health facilities being established in the Divisions and subdivisions. This is being undertaken at Ministry of Health.
A greater degree of specialization is in progress with Echocardiography, and the training of technologists in CT Angiography, CT using multi-slicing, MRI techniques and soon Radio-technology. All phases of these processes are in progress with the support of our External partners including the Sahyadri Hospital (Fiji) Group and College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
Any government will need to see efficiency ingrained into service delivery. We cannot see “Wet film” “Chemical” outages and service disruptions.
The system of procurement, distribution and storage remains in your hemisphere. We can address these simple issues at operational level and must stop the blame game with FPBS. Work ethos, professionalism must be addressed at the business end of your AGM.
Also addressing the need for a Structured Continuing Professional Education Programme now is long overdue, under the 2009 Radiation Decree.
I wish you well for 2014 and trust that your meeting today will add value to your professional life.
God Bless Fiji.