CAPTION: Launch of the nursing program.
1. ECONOMY ON TRACK, NO SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET FOR HURRICANE EVAN – The Ministry of Finance will not divert funds this year from various government agencies to assist in the funding of immediate rehabilitation works following Hurricane Evan.
2. GOVERNMENT PAYS TRIBUTE TO JICA PROGRAM – More than 600 Japanese volunteers who have served Fiji over in the last 30 years have made significant socio economic contributions and at the same time have contributed to boosting bilateral ties and mutual friendship between Fiji and Japan.
3. NEW NURSING PROGRAM TO BOOST FIJI’S HEALTH REFORMS – The enrolment of more than 300 nurses into the inaugural Bachelor of Nursing program at the Fiji National University is expected to strengthen Fiji’s health sector reforms.
1 ECONOMY ON TRACK, NO SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET FOR HURRICANE EVAN
The Ministry of Finance will not divert funds this year from various government agencies to assist in the funding of immediate rehabilitation works following Hurricane Evan.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca pointed out that despite the enormity of the damage sustained by the tropical cyclone since it hit the country in 2012, the Finance ministry will not be sourcing rehabilitation funds from other government ministries as was previous practice.
Previously, government had to divert funds from government ministries but with more than $20m already accessed through surplus funds from the 2012 budget, government was able to finance the immediate needs following Hurricane Evan.
“We were able to do those re-deployments within Government’s budget. We are not going to propose to Cabinet for a supplementary budget for the Ministry of Finance to finance rehabilitation works”.
Mr Waqabaca said following Hurricane Evan, the education, health and infrastructure sectors were areas that needed immediate assistance and funds that were not fully utilised by Ministries and Departments in 2012 were diverted towards rehabilitating these sectors.
Positive of the economy maintaining more than a 2 percent growth despite the circumstances, Mr Waqabaca said that recent ratings by international ratings body Moody’s Investors Service demonstrate that Fiji should achieve its growth predictions.
“There is a lot of economic spending happening right now especially in the tourism sector and we are confident of the agriculture sector picking up pace. There is a lot of optimism as well in the wholesale and retail sector so if you combine that with the optimism shared for the investment sector, this should further drive Fiji’s economy into a positive direction”.
In January earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of Fiji projected positive ratings in the expansion of Fiji’s domestic economy by 2.7 per cent led by agriculture, manufacturing and financial intermediation sectors.
2 GOVERNMENT PAYS TRIBUTE TO JICA PROGRAM
More than 600 Japanese volunteers who have served Fiji over in the last 30 years have made significant socio economic contributions and at the same time have contributed to boosting bilateral ties and mutual friendship between Fiji and Japan.
At a celebration this week commemorating the 30 years of cooperation through the Japanese volunteers coming to Fiji through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Japan Overseas Co-operation Volunteers Programme (JOCV), the contribution made by JICA personnel to many sectors in Fiji was commended.
The Public Service Commission permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand highlighted that over the years, volunteers have provided a vital contribution to areas such as resource management, education, health, culture, sports, fisheries, rural development, disaster management and many more.
“The services and expertise of the volunteers have enriched our people, communities and country as a whole with information, know-how, skills and technology in our quest for building a better Fiji,” he said.
“We will continue to support this programme and furthermore develop synergies between the JICA volunteer programme and the Fiji Volunteer Service as we stand to benefit in terms of sharing of information and expertise from the many years of existence of the JOVC”, Mr Chand said.
On the bilateral front, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation permanent secretary, Mr Amena Yauvoli said the volunteer system was a positive platform for forging stronger ties with each other.
He said like any other developing country, Fiji also faces capacity constraints and these volunteers have helped to fill in this gap by imparting their technical expertise to Fijians.
“We hope you will continue to do so in the years to come and at the same time we can forge a more fruitful relation in the future,” Mr Yauvoli said.
The first group of volunteers to Fiji arrived in 1983 as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 1982 between the governments of Fiji and Japan.
3 NEW NURSING PROGRAM TO BOOST FIJI’S HEALTH REFORMS
The enrollment of more than 300 nurses into the inaugural Bachelor of Nursing program at the Fiji National University is expected to strengthen Fiji’s health sector reforms.
More than 300 student nurses from the Fiji National University’s School of Medicine and nurses from the TISI Sangam School of Nursing have enrolled into the program in what has been described as an enormous success for Fiji’s nursing sector.
The Ministry of Health’s Nursing Services director applauded the launch of the program and highlighted its impact on Fiji’s nursing profession.
“The genesis of this new program would see nursing soaring to greater and newer heights in the world of academic excellence which is the cornerstone for constant development in the overall nursing profession,”
“This marks a significant development for nursing and is specifically a major breakthrough in nursing education and has re-embarked to the upgrade of the undergraduate nursing qualification to the Bachelor level,” Mrs Waqa said.
The Registrar of the Fiji National University Jone Dakuvula pointed out that while the new program is expected to boost Fiji’s health services, it will also provide an opportunity for nurses to seek employment opportunities outside the country.
“Nursing is an important profession and upgrading the standard of nursing education to another level is the paramount way to meet the high demand of nurses in Fiji and internationally”, Dakuvula said.
Earlier this month the Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma reaffirmed governments’ commitment towards the upgrading of the health sector while touring health centres in the western division.
“Funds have been allocated by the Bainimarama government to upgrade our health facilities in the western division because we need better facilities to be able to provide better health care for our people,” Dr Sharma said.
Plans are now under way to develop a Masters program for Nursing in Fiji.