A medical specialist has suggested Fiji will up the status of its healthcare facilities first before looking into medical tourism.
Dr Hari Prasad, Group President Apollo Hospitals India, however, did agree there is a lot of potential for Fiji in medical tourism.
He was speaking at the 2016 CPA Congress underway at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort on Yanuca Island.
Dr Prasad emphasised in order to improve healthcare facilities, there need to be a public-private partnership in terms of investment in this area.
“I believe that Fiji would do well to up its health care facility and that I believe would happen only with the public private partnership,” he said.
“This is because across the world, we have seen that governments running a hospital would not be the best solution.
“The core competence of government is not to run hospital but to facilitate and create policies. Hospitals are run by professionals who know how to run hospitals.
“That’s the reason I am saying private public partnerships are required to first up the status of healthcare in this part of the world.”
Indeed he believes improved high end health care in this part of the world is even more important given how big an issue non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are.
“It’s sad to see the people with vascular diseases due to diabetes have actually had amputations – they are having to lose their limbs because their diabetes is not well-controlled.”
Dr Prasad believes once our healthcare facilities are improved and we are able to provide quality health care at cost that is affordable to many, more people will start coming into the country.
“And that will have a huge socio economic impact on the country,” he said.
“I would say that Fiji is located in a beautiful position and it needs to take advantage now of that positioning.
“It should move fast and occupy the space failing which some of the other countries I know are trying to get into this sector are occupied.
“Once somebody else does it, then Fiji would lose the opportunity of others travelling here for health care facilities.”