August 21, 2016 9:30 am

Council supports decision on medical complaints being made public

Our consumer watchdog has urged members of the public to make the most of the medical complaints hotline due to be ready soon to address issues of medical negligence and unprofessional conduct. The Consumer Council of Fiji’s chief executive officer Premila Kumar also confirmed that the Council has received a total of 83 medically related […]

Our consumer watchdog has urged members of the public to make the most of the medical complaints hotline due to be ready soon to address issues of medical negligence and unprofessional conduct.

Consumer Council of Fiji Chief-Executive Officer Premila Kumar at last night budget announcement. (Fijian Government)
Consumer Council of Fiji Chief-Executive Officer Premila Kumar. (Fijian Government)

The Consumer Council of Fiji’s chief executive officer Premila Kumar also confirmed that the Council has received a total of 83 medically related complaints from 2011 to July, 2016.

KUMAR: “In the past, seeking justice for medical negligence and unprofessional conduct was a long struggle for many aggrieved consumers. Consumers contacted the Council to express concern about the laxity in the healthcare system. Some consumers complained about delays, no proper advice given to them on their grievances and no updates provided on their cases lodged at the Fiji Medical and Dental Secretariat.”

She said unfortunately, there are still a number of rogue doctors and dentists around, carrying on with their business failing to realize that they are service providers.

She said the Council applauds the announcement made by the Minister for Economy, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the 2016-2017 National Budget to set up a medical complaints hotline.

KUMAR: “This initiative will be a breakthrough to set order and bring about accountability in the health system. Consumers will be able to call and seek resolution of complaints about service delivery and the treatment by a medical practitioner, nurses, pharmacist or any person employed in the health sector.”

Mrs Kumar said the hotline would set order and bring accountability to the health system in the country.

KUMAR: “This transparent system was long overdue to hold health professionals accountable. Once the complaints mechanism is set up, Fijians must make the most of it. They should diligently and responsibly use the complaints protocol system to raise.”

She also applauds the decision made the Fiji Medical and Dental Professional Conduct Tribunal to revoke a doctor’s license to practice and suspend her general registration for 10 years because of her unprofessional conduct whilst providing medical care.

KUMAR: “The stance taken by the Fiji Medical and Dental Professional Conduct Tribunal in making its decision public is a positive step towards restoring public confidence in the country’s healthcare sector, particularly in its complaints management system.”