‘Walk the talk’

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

Human rights activist Shamima Ali says it is disgraceful that ordinary Fijians with heart conditions have to contend with critical equipment at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital that is not working.

Ms Ali claimed the angiogram and cath lab at the CWMH was not in working order.

She said PM Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum could jet off to the world’s best medical facilities for cardio treatment at the drop of a hat.

“Time to start walking the talk, genuinely, and stop the bragging and grandstanding. Fijians are suffering.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said at a new conference on Wednesday, that Mr Bainimarama’s medical costs were borne by the State.

Ms Ali claimed that the angiogram and cath lab at the CWM Hospital was not in working order.

“These are critical machines that help identify blockages in the heart, where is our preparedness?” she said.

“Why don’t we have backup or spare parts for this equipment?”

She claims the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum could jet off to the world’s best medical facilities for cardio treatment at the drop of a hat.

“They always talk about leaving no Fijian behind, but the reality of the matter is every Fijian gets left behind when it comes to access to quality health care – except for the two men ruling this country and those who can afford to go overseas,” she claims.

Ms Ali said it was outrageous that the permanent secretary for the Health Ministry said, “Almost as an afterthought” that the angiogram and cath lab at CWM Hospital is not working and says the parts will be coming in the “next few days”.

She said Mr Bainimarama and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum could hop on an airplane at a whim and travel to the best facilities abroad any time they want to.

“Is this service available to every Fijian? “Who is paying for this? “Do they have insurance? It is very difficult to get insurance to travel abroad.

“These are questions that need to be answered, they are accountable to us as elected leaders of the country.”

Ms Ali said Fijians wanted Mr Bainimarama to get well and felt sorry for him, but as leaders, they did not feel sorry for the people of this country.

“They continue to leave Fijians behind at every given opportunity and more so when they have health issues.

“Time to start walking the talk, genuinely, and stop the bragging and grandstanding, Fijians are suffering.”

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum said at a news conference on Wednesday, that Mr Bainimarama’s medical costs were borne by the State.

“Well the treatment is still going on,” he said.

“And as you know that the medical costs for the PM are borne by the State.”

Requests for a response to Ms Ali’s statement sent to Mr Bainimarama, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong remain unanswered.

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