More nurses on payroll soon

Fiji Times, July 29, 2005

The Ministry of Health will terminate the contracts of retired nurses who have been re-employed to cater for the surplus of nurses next year.

Health chief executive, Doctor Lepani Waqatakirewa said for the first time, Fiji would have a surplus of nurses by the end of the year.

This is because 158 nurses will graduate by the end of this year, he said.

"To accommodate the new nurses, the retired ones who were re-employed will be the first ones to go," he said.

Dr Waqatakirewa said there were only 61 vacancies and in order to cater for the graduates, they could not afford to keep retired nurses who were employed on a casual basis.

He said the contract of the retired nurses was such that they had the freedom to terminate it when they chose.

"Not that we don't value them but we have to employ new graduates," he said.

The development has angered the Fiji Nursing Association, which has labelled the ministry's decision as gender discrimination.

General secretary, Kuini Lutua said it was unfair and they would not allow the Government to bully them.

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