FijiFirst has made significant progress in increasing life expectancy, enhancing health outcomes in mothers and children, and reducing illness from communicable diseases. The life expectancy at birth stands at 70 years, an unswerving improvement over the years due to the upgrades in public health, nutrition and medicine.
The maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births) has dropped. We have ensured that all births should be attended by skilled health professionals, indicative of the strength and efficiency of maternal and child health programmes. The mortality rate for children under the age of five years has also declined, with marked reduction in infant mortality rates.
One of our major priorities is to improve access to and quality of public health services, particularly in addressing noncommunicable diseases and dealing effectively with the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Our objective is to take medical services to international standards in the next 20 years with a major focus on tertiary health care and overall medical service delivery. We are investing to improve overall hospital services, reduce patient waiting time, increase the number of beds, improve ambulance services and raise the doctor-to-patient ratio to 1 doctor per 1,000 people.
Post pandemic, we are transforming the healthcare delivery system by engaging more general practitioners. Also, new general outpatient services have been added to strengthen the system. Adding to this, Fijians now have access to the best oral health through private dental care. Moreover, we will continue with the free medicine scheme to assist low-income households.