Category Archives: PRESS RELEASE

Pacific’s first international Emergency Medical Team announced in Fiji



Fiji’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) is ready for international deployment says the World Health Organization (WHO), becoming the first team in the Pacific islands with this unique capability.


Verified as a Type 1 Fixed Emergency Medical Team (EMT), FEMAT is now able to respond domestically and across the Pacific, providing a broad range of medical and emergency services for up to 100 patients per day.


Having passed a comprehensive assessment by WHO in Suva over May 10-11, with observers from Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines taking part, FEMAT can provide initial emergency care for injuries and other acute health needs. This capability was tested on May 10, with WHO and observers reviewing a full deployment of FEMAT’s ‘field hospital’, as well as all clinical care services including triage, first aid, patient stabilization and referral of severe trauma and non-trauma emergencies.


Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, responsible for FEMAT as a Ministry resource, said the verification demonstrated Fiji’s continuing investment in disaster preparedness and response, especially its commitment to high-quality and rapid health emergency response in Fiji and beyond.


“The Pacific is a hotspot for disasters and emergencies, particularly in the face of a changing climate. FEMAT is a vital tool in ensuring Fijians and our friends across the Pacific are better protected and supported in times of crisis. We are thrilled our investments have been recognised by WHO.”


Dr Corinne Capuano, Director of Pacific Technical Support and WHO Representative to the South Pacific, noted the pressing needs FEMAT will address.


“With 11 disasters and 26 outbreaks during 2018 in the Pacific, Fiji’s achievement is timely. FEMAT is positioned among an elite network of international EMTs able to rapidly deploy. Their efforts will save lives in Fiji and other Pacific island countries, and is a meaningful example of how a country has leveraged a WHO initiative to strengthen its capacity to respond to health emergencies in Fiji and across the Pacific.”


The verification involved in-depth reviews of FEMAT’s processes and policies, as well as assessments of the skills and equipment they need to deploy rapidly. Verification was confirmed on Saturday evening by the WHO, and awarded at a formal ceremony in Suva.


During the ceremony, Minister Waqainabete thanked international partners for their significant support, particularly Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and WHO.

Images/Video: Ministry of Health and medical services.


Notes to editors:

For more information on FEMAT, EMT’s and WHO’s EMT verification process, please see the attached “Fact Sheet: Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs)”.


Related links:

  • FEMAT Website
  • WHO’s EMT Initiative:
  • Division of Pacific Technical



Health Minister advises University Graduates to use skills

Health Minister advises University Graduates to use skills.

The Minister for Health and medical services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete urged  the FNU Graduates to respond to exciting challenges and realise opportunities that they now have after completing their tertiary education.

He speaking at the Fiji National University final Graduation program for students from the college of agriculture, fisheries and forests and College of medicine, Nursing and Health sciences.

“I encourage you all to make use of your skills and bring about new and innovative changes that will empower our resource base sectors”, Dr Waqainabete said.

He also challenged you graduates to get out of their comfort zones, develop entrepreneurial spirits and contribute to the development of our nation by being job creators.

Dr Waqainabete said that this will also assist Fiji in addressing the skill gaps prevalent in various areas such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector.















Government of Japan strengthens support for 5S-Kaizen-TQM Project with Health Ministry

JICA Resident Representative, Ms. Yukari Ono made a courtesy call to the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical services, Ms. Susan Kiran on Thursday last week and to further discuss on the 5S-KAIZEN-TQM Project.

5S-KAIZEN -TQM Project is a three year Project for improvement of health services which will be piloted at CWM Hospital, Nausori Maternity Hospital, Nausori Health Center, Sigatoka Hospital and Labasa Hospital. Over the course of the Project period, several Experts from JICA will be dispatched to support the Ministry and its personnel in the implementation of the Project.

The 5S stands for SEIRI, SEITON, SEISO, SEIKETSU, SHITSUKE translated in English as SORT, SET, SHINE, STANDARDISE and SUSTAIN respectively. These action words have been the PILLAR of the 5S implementation and continuous improvement in workplaces which has also lead to CLEAN and SAFE working environment.


JICA introduced KAIZEN in hospitals in Fiji from the year 2007. Under JICA’s Group and Regional Training Program, it has conducted number of training courses on KAIZEN covering both theory and practical and invited two nurses from CWM hospital and Lautoka hospital to attend training course on 5S-Continous Quality Improvement-TQM in Sri Lanka in 2016.

Sri Lanka first applied the 5S industrial tool into the health sector in a hospital; since then, JICA has been supporting many more hospitals and health facilities in Asia, Africa and other regions of the world have taken up 5S concepts for the improvement of the work environment service delivery and hospital management and Fiji has also remains a good partner of the Japanese government in terms of health sector development.

This Japanese model of workplace organisation is envisioned to strengthen organizational capacity after the completion of the project in the various health facilities

The Health Ministry welcomes such initiatives which will filter down in the Ministry’s work culture and eventually improve the health service delivery and maximize the benefits to all Fijians.