FIJI – Fiji’s health minister is asking medical staff to be more mindful of their professional conduct in the workplace and to achieve targets set by the United Nations sustainable development goals. The request came amid online complaints about poor treatment of patients, especially at hospitals. The minister, Rosy Akbar, spoke to nurses at their recent annual general meeting and acknowledged their job was tough because they deal with life and death situations. But she said it was important for Fiji to stay committed to international efforts to improve health standards. Akbar also asked nursing staff not to breach social media policies, to work more collaboratively together and to exercise more patience and understanding when caring for the sick.
Heads of Health meeting in Suva
FIJI – Senior officials from 22 Pacific Island countries and territories along with medical professionals have gathered in Suva for the Fifth Heads of Health meeting. Organised by Pacific Community with support from Australia, New Zealand, World Bank and WHO, the annual meeting provides an important platform to review and contribute towards decisions that impact regional health policy. SPC’s Public Health Director Paula Vivili said the main objective of the three day meeting is to review, discuss and make recommendations to the biennial Pacific Health Ministers Meeting which will be held in the Cook Islands in August. Last year’s meeting tasked SPC and WHO to facilitate the development of a Healthy Islands Monitoring Framework and this meeting will review its progress. Also high on the agenda are strategies against Non-Communicable Diseases, human resource issues and epidemic preparedness and responses.
VIETNAMESE FISHERMEN IN CUSTODY
SOLOMON ISLANDS – The 40 Vietnamese crew on the so-called ‘blue boats’ remain in custody in Solomon Islands almost a month after they were arrested. The crew and the boats were taken into custody last month after they were found diving for beche de mer in Rennell and Bellona. Last week, the crew were fined about US$99 each, while the owners of the boats were fined US$4.6 million dollars. The men are being held at the Rove Detention Centre in Honiara while the immigration department decides what to do next. The Solomons’ public broadcaster reported the men will have until next Monday to pay the fines.