MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 14/03/14 5:00PM

1.?????STATE OF THE ART MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COMMISSIONED?- Members of public can now access improved health care services following the commissioning today of new and state of the art medical equipment at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

 

2.?????NEW HOME OWNERS MOVE IN?-?Rehabilitation relief for tropical cyclone Evan continues in the western division after 26 more homes were opened today.

 

3.?????LABASA SUGAR MILL LOOKS TO INCREASE CANE PRODUCATION?-?The Labasa Sugar Mill is looking to increase its sugarcane production to 600,000 tonnes this year compared to 550,000 tonnes of cane crushed last year.

 

4.?????PSC & JICA TEAM UP FOR CAPABILITY TRAINING PROJECT?-?Fiji plays a central role in the South Pacific as both a geographical and economical ?hub?, also providing a supporting role to neighboring small island nations.

 

5.?????NEW EQUIPMENT TO BOOST CAPACITY FOR FIREFIGHTERS?-?Fiji?s Fire officers will now be able to upgrade their skill and knowledge through the new training equipment that was donated to the team this week.

 

6.?????NEW CONSUMER TRIBUNAL TO EASE COMPLAINTS?-?A Consumer Complaints and Compensation Tribunal will soon be set up to address?on?consumer issues.

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1?STATE OF THE ART MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COMMISSIONED

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Members of public can now access improved health care services following the commissioning today of new and state of the art medical equipment at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

 

The Minster for Health Dr Sharma commissioned the new set of equipment and highlighted its importance in providing quality medical care to Fijians.

 

?Health systems reform and strengthening in the last five years has taken on monumental leaps in Fiji,? Dr Sharma said.

 

?We had fragile system in areas of Human Resources, Technology, Infrastructure and pharmaceutical and medical consumables supplies,? Dr Sharma said.

 

Government allocated $1.9 million for the Cytology Analyzer, Urology clinic, refurbished Oxfam Planning Clinic, New look maternity unit and a renovated hospital kitchen and mortuary.

 

Organisations including Digicel Fiji and the International Women?s Association also contributed to the renovation works carried out at the maternity unit and the Oxfam Planning clinic.

 

?Cancer Screening becomes more robust with the ability to screen 50,000 pap smears and introduction of the HPV vaccine will address the premature cancer disability and deaths among women,? Minister Sharma said.

 

He said that the new urology clinic with its modern Lithotripter is first of its kind for the region and a preferred method of removing kidney stones.

 

The awareness and support on Prostate Cancer has been made possible through the donation by a social group to the Ministry of Health.

 

Meanwhile the Minister received a cheque donation to the sum of $14,420.10 from the Suva Golden Oldies Rugby Club to support the Ministry?s awareness program on prostate cancer.

 

Minister Sharma said that the generous contribution will be used by the Fiji National Neurology Centre which acts a wellness centre for men for the awareness through screenings on prostate cancer around Fiji.

 

?This is the first time for men in Fiji to become confident and seek advice at an early stage of the cancer. Also with the increase in the reported cases of prostate cancer, the scope for teaching, advocacy and support will encourage more man to be more health conscious,? Dr Sharma said.

 

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2?NEW HOME OWNERS MOVE IN

 

Rehabilitation relief for tropical cyclone Evan continues in the western division after 26 more homes were opened today.

 

These homes were opened in Sigatoka and Ba bringing the total number of homes opened this year to 259.

 

In opening the homes, Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said this development reflects Government?s objective to return the lives of those affected to normalcy.

 

?We understand that help has come after a long time but this was due to the high number of people that were affected by TC Evan and Government would like to thank you for your patience.?

 

Commander Cawaki said apart from providing new homes, government had provided other forms of assistance through various ministries including agriculture, fisheries, social welfare, women and poverty alleviation programmes.

 

?These have been done to provide people with income generating projects so that Fijians are able to contribute positively to their families, the society and the nation as a whole as they tried to return their lives back to normalcy,? Commander Cawaki said.

 

In Sigatoka, the Provincial Administrator Nadroga/Navosa Mr Peni Koro urged people to make use of the assistance in moving their families out of poverty.

 

?There is a need to move away from the hand out mentality and start helping yourselves. These homes are small way of thanking you owners on your continued contribution to the nation,? Mr Koro said.

 

?Government hopes that you will continue to strive towards positively contributing towards a better Fiji.?

 

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3?LABASA SUGAR MILL LOOKS TO INCREASE CANE PRODUCATION

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The Labasa Sugar Mill is looking to increase its sugarcane production to 600,000 tonnes this year compared to 550,000 tonnes of cane crushed last year.

 

Mill Manager Karia Christopher addressed the Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu and assured the Commissioner that the mill has had less breakdown from last year compared to previous years.

 

?We have turned the mill around and its almost a world class one.?

 

He said the sugar production has increased compared to the cane production because of the quality of the cane and the efficiency of the mill.

 

The Labasa mills target for 2014 is to increase its sugar cane production by 1.0 million by 2020, to introduce the cane quality payment system, upgrade the railway transportation infrastructure, large scale farming, introduce mechanical harvesters and sugar refining.

 

Bolalevu said they will work together before the next harvesting season and look into each sugarcane sector.

 

?We have to find solutions to work together and increase the sugarcane production?, Bolalevu said.

 

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4?PSC & JICA TEAM UP FOR CAPABILITY TRAINING PROJECT

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Fiji plays a central role in the South Pacific as both a geographical and economical ?hub?, also providing a supporting role to neighboring small island nations.

 

Fiji recognises this role and is striving to provide avenues through which these small island nations can develop the capacity to overcome the developmental issues they face.

 

The Fijian Government through the Public Service Commission is working in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the South-South Cooperation to facilitate and assist on a project that aims to strengthen the capacity of the Public Service Commission?s Training and Workforce Development Division to be able to administer capacity building training to representatives from regional countries that include Kiribati and Tuvalu.

 

?Fiji has always assisted its neightbours through ad hoc projects and agreements, for example, the regional sugar agreement, as well as Diplomatic Training programs, and the Fiji Volunteer Scheme,? Permanent Secretary for the Public Service Mr Parmesh Chand said.

 

Through this project, the South-South Corporation and JICA are looking at ways in which the Human Resource needs of these nations can be addressed through the implementation of capacity building programs. Training and equipping the people of these nations with skills that will help them develop in terms of infrastructure,? human resources, education and telecommunication, PSC and JICA aim to assist in providing the sustainable management of human resources.

 

Director of the Public Service Commission?s Training and Workforce Development Division, Mr Ajay Singh and Project Chief Advisor Atsuko Orimoto recently returned from Kiribati where they administered a needs survey with Kiribati government officials. This survey would realise the areas in which capacity building and training is most needed in these countries. The Fijian delegation met with Kiribati officials from the Ministries of Health, Education and Foreign Affairs.

 

?Fiji is committed to regional development and we thank JICA for facilitating this project that would see progress in terms of human resources as well as development in the capabilities of workers around the Pacific. It is our hope that this will strengthen the ties between Fiji, its neighbouring countries and Japan, and create mutual benefits for all countries involved,? Mr Parmesh Chand said.

 

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5?NEW EQUIPMENT TO BOOST CAPACITY FOR FIREFIGHTERS

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Fiji?s Fire officers will now be able to upgrade their skill and knowledge through the new training equipment that was donated to the team this week.

 

The National Fire Authority (NFA) chief executive officer Mr John O?Connor received the fire fighting and rescue equipment from the Japan International Cooperation Agency resident representative Mr Shumon Yoshiara at the NFA Headquarters.

 

The highly specialised firefighting equipment includes rescue gears, portable generators, ladders, first training dummies and rescue rafts which are worth $60,000.

 

?The equipments will boost NFA?s resilience to respond to fire and rescue operations during emergencies, natural disasters, evacuations and motor vehicle rescue on our roads,? Mr Connor said.

 

?We recognise that a key enabling agent to realising this expectation by the government for NFA is the need for capital improvements for infrastructure, vehicles and equipment.?

 

Mr Connor added that the assistance has been timely and will support NFA to achieve its full potential in delivering a professional, efficient and effective emergency response and rescue service.

 

Mr Yoshiara commended NFA for their selfless service to the community and added the new equipments will enhance the capacity of fire fighters to carry out their work effectively while attending to fire disasters.

 

A total of forty-three (43) fire fighters have attended to road accidents and emergency medical training in Japan and hundred (100) fire fighters have attended the In-Country Training conducted by the Matsuka Firefighting Association till date.

 

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6?NEW CONSUMER TRIBUNAL TO EASE COMPLAINTS

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A Consumer Complaints and Compensation Tribunal will soon be set up to address?on?consumer issues.

 

The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr?Aiyaz?Sayed-Khaiyum during the celebrations of the World Consumer Day said that the tribunal will give consumers a simple and affordable avenue to pursue claims.

 

?Presently, many aggrieved consumers do not have the option to seek justice through the courts because of the nature of the legal system and costly legal fees. This tribunal will put an end to this inequity in the system by offering a mechanism that is accessible to all and that delivers justice in a timely manner,? AG said.

 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Mr Shaheen Ali said the consumer tribunal is part of the Government?s plan to provide a flexible and easily accessible redress mechanism to consumers.

 

?We are working with the Solicitor General?s Office and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the tribunal is set up with all necessary infrastructure and powers to address consumer needs,? PS Ali said.

 

The Permanent Secretary said a collaborative approach is needed to hear out issues of both the consumers and businesses.

 

?Safeguarding consumer rights is the key objective of the Bainimarama Government thus relevant laws have been put in place to ensure that consumer interests are protected and promoted.?

 

An allocation of $500,000 was announced by the Prime?Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in the 2014 budget to set up the tribunal this year.

 

The World Consumer Rights Day was celebrated with the theme ?Fix our phone rights? organised by the Consumer Council of Fiji at University of the South Pacific Business and Economics Faculty.

 

Issues discussed were on mobile phone operators charging consumers a high call rate, internet data usage rate, roaming charges, unfair game competitions and texting.

 

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