#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Idemnity clause hurting Fiji doctors

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Idemnity clause hurting Fiji doctors

Neil Sharma
Leaked information about the controversial indemnity insurance cover Fiji doctors are being made to pay, show 10 have already been suspended by the Fiji Medical Council because they can't afford to pay it.

The insurance cover is compulsory under the Fiji Medical Practitioners Decree 2010, with the Council maintaining the indemnity will protect doctors from any law suits.

But doctors say it's rare Fiji doctors are sued and that the fee is unjustified. It was $1,012 when the decree was introduced two years ago but is $1,610 this year with talk it could increase to $2000 to $5000 depending on the number of claims that come in.

Information obtained by Coupfourpointfive show doctors are worried more of them could end up being suspended because of the hardline attitude of the Fiji Medical Council and the ineffectiveness of the Fiji College of General Practitioners (FCGP) secretariat.
Dharmesh Prasad

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.


mark manning said...

Soon the Regime will be hiring witch doctors and will begin pulling teeth by tying a string to the tooth and the other end to a door knob and shutting the door suddenly to pull the tooth.

Taukei. said...

Chances are ones who can't are probably some of Viti's best Doctors.

Anonymous said...

It's a requirement in many proffesions that those practising something that has a possibility of causing others harm for which they could be held responsible and sued are covered by insurance.

It's a pretty pathetic argument to suggest practising doctors liability insurance is not required as few doctors are sued in Fiji.

On the same basis every car driver could say he does not need third party insurance because he has not been in an accident YET !

Dr in the house said...

Sounds like they are trying to make the GPs subsidise the government quacks

Anonymous said...

just like all has to pay car insurance. business owner need to pay insurance.... same .... why such a big issue.....

The Oracle said...

@Anon 9.19pm...The doctors aren't really complaining about insurance as a requirement to practice. What they're complaining about is the increasing insurance costs and the fact that there is a monopoly on where they can obtain that insurance. Any increase in insurance charges will be transferred to the patient just as rent increases, water and electricity increases etc will.
The reality is that all these costs will pass on to the patient who can ill-afford to meet the increasing costs. The doctors themselves don't care - they have a lifestyle to maintain and if their service is required then people will have to pay for it. The doctors who are complaining are the ones who are thinking of their low-wage earning clients.
I do, however, agree with your argument that it is illogical to suggest that insurance should not be paid because doctors are seldom sued. The issue is more how much the cost of insurance should be and whether such cover should be open to all insurers and not just the New Zealand company.
Might I add that if there's any one doctor who needs insurance cover for questionable practices, it might well be Dr Neil Sharma himself -- his track record is well known. Dharmesh Prasad is just a wannabe who has found himself in a position where he can throw his weight around with the military might behind him. Take that away and you'll find a pussycat trying to pose as a watchdog.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't doctors in Fiji have a physician association, that was established, to protects Doctors'
rights,priviledges and benefits etc? If you're not insured, how are you're able to handle a law suite, from pissed-off clients? Or is this a new and acceptable way, to carry-on business in Fiji?Every-
body wants to be a dictators? If the regime can pulled a coup and kicked the shit out off people when they complains, why not the doctors too? They can cut you up,anyway they want,even leave a
spoon or knife inside your intestines and theres nothing you can do about it? Cause Doctors are not insured in Fiji and theres nothing you can do about it?someone
ought to have a talk with the AG or PM about this crazy idea?

Anonymous said...

Dharmesh Prasad is another sly regime weasel making a quick commission out of this. I have met this guy, who is an absolute p!@#k, and boasts about how he is "bringing the doctors into line". He's not even a lawyer, and does not know his f!@#$%^n from his a!@$s when it comes to medical matters.

C4.5, do some digging. There's a rich story to be unearthed here.
March 6, 2012 8:33 PM

Anonymous said...

The aims and the motives, even the restrictions, behind the decree need to be explored. As with the other decrees chances are 'certain individuals' have had a free hand with the provisions.

The Oracle said...

@Anon 9.22.... There are a number of professional bodies representing doctors/dentists/medical practioners in Fiji. All, including the Fiji Medical Association, are professional development-focused. While past practice enabled them to "chastise" an offending doctor, they do not provide services like insurance cover for misconduct or willful malpractice.
So, the introduction of insurance cover by doctors is a good one. People in Fiji don't often resort to litigation. However, this could change with the introduction of insurance covering medical practices. So, in a way, it is a good move in protecting patients from tardy doctors. The only issue, which the doctors are raising themsleves, is how much should such cover cost and who should be allowed to offer such cover. All insurance companies are out to make money, so we can all expect the cover to increase annually. The result? - more costs for the poor patient.
As Anon 10.35am said .. there is a good story here on monopolies and who benefits on the sidelines. There are other ways to have doctors take out collective insurance cover at a lower cost. The point here is they're being forced to deal with one company and if they don't, they get de-registered following a visit by Dharmesh and his policemen. As another blogger said, the last thing we want is an angry doctor treating us. I pity Dharmesh if he fell sick and needed surgery. He could literally find a scalpel up his rear end.

Ashish Suwamy. said...

the corruption does not end there. fiji college of general practitioners is apparently making a cut cos they have brokered the deal with an insurance company in nz and this cut is not documented in their financial reports. Now who exactly is making that cut, nobody knows but the head honchos of the fcgp are the minister himself and his buddies who happens to be the former president of fcgp and another guy who happens to be the chair of the secreteriat of medical/dental council.
dharmesh happens to b the puppet of this three.

apparently dharmes is a also a disbarred lawyer..an investigation need to be carried out on how a disbarred lawyers gets to be the director of secretariat for doctors.who hired him and on what basis?

how can guy popular for doing abortions end up as a minister for health in our christian country?

Mr. Prime Minister if you are reading, this people will eventually spoil the good work of your government so better get rid of them as fast as possible.

And my votes to have Dr. Isireli/ Dr. Bhagat as the next minister for health. He being a private gp is doing a lot of good things for the society unlike his indian counterparts who are just building up their bank balances.

Good on ya , Isireli - my sistah!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok maybe some assole is making money with this NZ insurance company? Check it out c4.5 prasad sound like a crook, if he's not a
GP whats the hell is he doing in there?

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning seems to have answers to everything involving Fiji now he suggests we pull teeth out with a string! Are you talking from experience Mark-does sound like what the Aboriginals do in remote Communities due to lack of services! Mark we passed that stage in Fiji-Dental services in Fiji for your information is FREE not the exhorbant charges you mob pay to dentist-our elderly also get free dentures from Govt! But you would think for a country like Fiji, that charges nothing , YES NOTHING for its people to get treated in Govt run Hospitals even when admitted we sure as hell beat a lot of 3 world countries.Can we do better, yes we certainly can. There are substitutes to every medication listed in the article , some are no longer used like Asprin for heart disease as claimed simple because its an outdated mode of treatment which has severe complications like bleeding! Sorry to say -Western Medicine has hardly cured many of the diseases listed-& mnay more(at best it only controls the condition). What it means is that once diagnosed with a condition as a diabetic / Hypertension/ Asthma you are basically condemmed to a life with these diseases! The cause of these diseases if we care to research and find answers is more than just popping pills as in medication but a change in life style habits beginning with what we put into our mouths! Pharmaeutical giants run the system-even when they know the medication doesn' do shit for the patients. We now test for Cholesterol levels what someone forgot to mention is Cholesterol is produced by the liver as a product of various complex chemical reactions for the betterment and survival of the person! The figures we are given as normal values for Cholesterol & other such blood levels are decided by Drug Pharmeceuticals with the assistant of paid Specialists who are at the behest of these Companies!Lets not get carried away and remember what Butadroka once said-"lets not mix poultry & politics" MAKE FOOD YOUR MEDICINE" should be our target-medicnes like prednisone damage the kidneys,& also cause massive damage to you bones which cam hardly be reversed!Every medication has a Side Effect thats what needs to be told and suffering form adisease doesn't mean you have to have a "life sentence" of taking medication for ever! DRi Yani

Anonymous said...

Can people not jump up & down because of the drug shorages in Fiji -its not something new has happened in every Govt since the Alliance Government was in power, its dependent on suppliers and how they can meet the demands! There are factors in play here-natural desasters eg flooding , hurricanes-sometimes we can try to predict our requiremnts others we can't-there were times when suppliers in Australia could meet these extra demands in other cases they couldn't so Govt sources it from other countries. Happens all the time! If someone knows an answer i would love to hear it. Fiji is fortunate to have a free health service, we are not saying its the best in the world but sure as hell beats countries that charge a fortune and deliver crap!

Anonymous said...

drug shortages are not as a result of cyclones or hurricanes.its because of failing to make payments on time.and then drug companies dont want to ship things in early otherwise the whole gets expired in bulk and they end up taking the blame for it.furthermore all the generics are shipped out of india and pakistan and you can really trust the quality of these drugs. the last time i was there i meet a guy who was ibuprofn tabs in his backyard warehouse and then he fills in a quota and supllies to the drug company.no quality tests done and then these drugs are supplied to the third world countries.ill bet a million dollars that there is no facility available in fiji which can test the true quality of drugs.

this minister definitely need to go.first of all he is overweight....do i need to say more?

Dipesh Raniga said...

why was Sala Saketa sacked in the first place? I heard its because of her origins in Lau.

Anonymous said...

@Dipesh Raniga..yeah heard it too..are lauans not allowed to be part of the Regime? then take Lau out of the Fiji map!!!

Anonymous said...

Why do we need a doctor to be a Minister,get a good admin guy and as to insurance Neil Sharma knows it too well as he already had to pay from his pocket as to a botched delivery of a baby some 10 years ago and 2 pending cases in high court .

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said at 6:23 pm that drug shortage is not caused by cyclones or natural disasters-sorry you either know or don't know! As for testing last time i was in Fiji -The former Fiji Health Sector Unit (funded by AusAid) was testing drugs for its efficacy if i recall at the USP and in the past was also sent to NZ & Australia in the past! As for the complaint that we get a good admin guy to be Minister we did do that in the last SDL/Labour Govt infact we had 2 Minster-one a Dr who knew what was going on the other a weighbridge clerk who worked for FSC who weighted sugarcane trucks before they got to the mill! It will not take a genius to figure out which one wrote his own speech and one that rattled off what was written for him fully knowing he had no idea what he was reading out! The present Minister has cleared the rubbish that got incorporated into the system since 1987-don't have to tell you what happened then! Wecalso had very highly qualifies civil servants as PS and all they did was be more interested in having an office affair than looking the Ministry Of Health.Dr Sharma has done far, far better than some before him under trying times so if you have some better ideas in helping the Ministry of Health i am sure they will accommodate you free advice so far just a lot of criticism & grudges against the system but nothing to advance the Ministry!

ex army said...

Mark Manning which is better a witch doctor or a slave doctor.
ex army

Dipz said...

Neil Sharma is a liar.
And hoe can a guy charged with negligence be made the Minister of Health.

Anonymous said...

hE WAS CLOSING THE PHARMACIES ,TARGETING NAND OF NABUA ,NOW THE DOCTORS AND ALL SENIOR TO HIM OR BETTER THAN HIM,AS NEILS PRACTISE WAS A FAILURE ,HE CLOSED CWM TO OUTPATIENTS,SCREWED UP ST JOHN AMBULANCE AND NOw GPs . Go to samabula and have free beer with your partner in crime Rohit and wait for your dooms day neil ,wont call you sharma as you dont deserve that name

Anonymous said...

Neil.Sharma is hiding some things.. he has some other dirty laundry in his closet..the guys in FPS will know better

Anonymous said...

Both Neil and his pinono Dharmesh need to go!!!


Anonymous said...

@ Dipesh Raniga and Anon 2.21

If Lauans are targeted, how do you explain Jiko Luveni, Pressie's wife, Bole, Naupote, Waqabaca, fastest promoted bandboy leweni and many others in the regime supporting their golden goose tyrant and murderer Bai?

Anonymous said...

whose dharmesh????

Anonymous said...

Don't know why a Dental & General Practicener are messed- up together in Fiji. These are two separate entities,why bring in a dentist to lord over the real doctors?? Unless there was some kind of crooked deal in it for someone?

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james brownn said...

Absolutely no concerns-service and treatment received are always of the highest standard. Great staff, great office, great care, great dentist. Hard to believe service of the quality is found in my own neighborhood.affordable dental braces

Anonymous said...

Dharmesh is a womanizer. Who beats his wife all the time.

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