The chair of the Fiji Medical Council (which includes dental practitioners), Dharmesh Prasad, told media recently the chance of being sued is quite high these days and that a patient was awarded $410,400 last February.
Coupfourpointfive understands the doctor who was sued last year is an Othopedic Surgeon employed by Government, who come under the Fiji Medical Association as opposed to GPs who are self-employed and come under the FCGP.
We also understand Prasad has threatened to use the police to impose the $5,000 penalty on doctors who refuse to pay the cover.
The regime's Minister of Health, Neil Sharma, has come under worse attack for saying if doctor's can't afford the indemnity cover, then they should look for work outside of medicine.
Sharma is also being criticised for bringing Cuban doctors to Fiji to fill an apparent shortage but allowing local doctors to be pushed out for not paying the indemnity cover.
Doctors angry at the way the issue is being handled, say Sharma is allowing hard earned Fiji money to go to an overseas company, Lumley Insurance of New Zealand.
Information obtained by Coupfourpointfive shows questions being asked about how the Auckland based company came to secure the contract.
Doctors plan to petition the self-appointed prime minister Frank Bainimarama to revise the decree.
In a related matter, readers may recall Sharma crowing there would be no more shortages of essential drugs. He also said that any shortages would be the fault of the individual health centres. Coupfourpointfive has acquired a list of drugs that have run out at FPS, which means there is effectively a nationwide shortage.
Doctors say there are alternatives available for most of these medications (except for the anti-diabetic ones) but they are not ideal in terms of cost and effectiveness, which is why they are not frontline drugs. The list includes:
Glipizide and Metformin: First and second line drugs used to manage diabetes. People often cannot afford to buy these drugs, so their sugar is uncontrolled, and they end up getting complications.
Nifedipine: Used to manage hypertension, another common disease with serious complications if left untreated.
Aspirin: Helps prevent heart attacks.
Amoxycillin: Most commonly used to treat respiratory infections, which are common today.
Multivitamin elixir: Used to treat malnutrition/vitamin deficiency in very small children.
Prednisone: Used to manage autoimmune conditions, allergies and severe asthma. Many asthmatics need to take this every day.
Fluclox 250mg capsules: Used to treat skin infections. This dosage is used for children, and anyone who has lived in Fiji will know how common skin infections in children are.
Paracetamil elixir: For pain and fever in infants and younger children.
Permethrin cream: For scabies, which is again, very common.
Whitfield ointment: For dhani.
Stemetil injection: For treatment of severe vomiting.