The Fiji Government signed a deal with Aspen Medical, which would allow them to take over two of Fiji’s most prominent hospitals and redo them with cutting-edge technology. Aspen Medical promised to transform and improve Fiji’s healthcare, but their hospital management failed to live up to their promises.
Please keep reading to find out what Aspen Medical promised the Fiji Government and how their management failed the people of Fiji.
What Is Aspen Medical?
Aspen Medical is a global provider of healthcare solutions. The company focuses on assisting rural and remote communities regarding health services, and they respond to emergency and critical situations worldwide.
Why Is Aspen Medical Involved in Fiji?
In November 2018, the Government of Fiji signed a 23-year contract with Aspen Medical. Among the promises made by Aspen Medical was to upgrade Lautoka and Ba Hospitals and have both hospitals operating at full capacity by June of 2021. The upgrades were supposed to fix infrastructure problems and should have added 305 beds to Lautoka Hospital and 70 new beds to Ba Hospital.
Aspen Medical Hospital Management Failures
In the contract signed by the Government of Fiji and Aspen Medical, Aspen Medical agreed to have both hospitals operational and running by June 2021, but in May of 2021, Lautoka hospital was shut down due to the amount of COVID-19 cases. There are plans to have Lautoka Hospital open in 2022, but there is no specific date available yet.
Since Lautoka hospital shut down, Fiji was left with one hospital up and running. This causes a limited number of COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed, citizens have been unable to receive needed healthcare treatment, and patients are being re-routed to a network of backup hospitals and field hospitals. As a result, the current hospitals are being overwhelmed, and patients are being turned away as there is no one to help them.
The biggest impact of Aspen Medical’s failure is the increased amount of deaths Fiji experienced. Because hospitals were closed or not running at full capacity, many residents didn’t have access to needed treatments. Add this to the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 and the lack of vaccine distribution, then it is clear that Aspen Medical has a direct link to the increase of deaths.
Allegations Of Corruption
Aspen Medical is facing allegations of corruption. People are questioning the ways in which Aspen Medical is acquiring these large government contracts without being held accountable if they don’t fulfill their promises. Visit aspenfailedfiji.org for more information on these allegations.
Healthcare Issues In Fiji Hospitals
Before the pandemic, Fiji realized there were issues with their hospital management and took the necessary steps to try and rectify the problems, but instead of helping, Aspen Medical created more problems. As a result, there is a call for Aspen Medical to either uphold their side of the contract or to return the funds they received for the project.