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How Aspen Medical Is Ruining Fiji Healthcare Systems

There have been at least 869 COVID-19 related deaths in Fiji. With COVID affecting multiple countries, citizens don’t want to also have the concern of a failing healthcare infrastructure. Fiji had a plan to modernise its healthcare, and did you know that the company tasked with performing these modernisations didn’t keep their promises?

There was a deadline in place for Aspen Medical to be prepared to uphold its end of the PPP deal for Fiji’s healthcare systems. However, despite the deadline and the almost two-year notice from the date of signing…Aspen Medical has let the country down.

This contract’s purpose was to give them responsibility for medical infrastructure overhauls. This also consisted of transformations for both Lautoka and Ba hospitals.

While the company made changes that would head in the right direction, they didn’t carry the country’s healthcare system to the finish line of the project, let alone into more of the modern age of the industry. It’s a case of failed hospital management with no regard to adapt to faults for the sake of citizens in need of quality healthcare.

Keep reading as we talk about the unkept promises made by Aspen Medical and potential solutions.

Aspen Medicals’ Failed Promises and Corruption: What to Know

Aspen Medical is a for-profit company. They provide healthcare management services on a global scale. The company has been criticised for its allegedly poor approach to care.

This includes unethical choices associated with contract quickness and public optics. They also promised to improve access to healthcare. Additionally, they promised to upgrade facilities and essentially transform the Fijian healthcare system.

However, they missed the mark, quite literally. Aspen Medical has not kept its promises by the deadline set.

While they are trying to make up for those unkept promises, citizens are in need of answers. Many are also wondering about the intentions behind the changes that are being implemented. 

In October 2022, the first open heart surgery that Fiji has seen as a “permanent” service was done. While this is great news, let’s keep in mind that changes were expected before they were actually presented.

Citizens want to know if these changes are being made to satisfy the public eye. Or, if they will truly be permanent services.

The situation in Fiji highlights the problems with privatising healthcare. When profit is the primary motivation, quality of care can suffer. This can have devastating consequences for patients and communities who rely on these services.

How to Fix Problems in Fiji That Aspen Medical Created

There are at least 912,478 people currently living in Fiji, and all of these citizens were left with much concern. Currently, Fiji’s healthcare system is in a public-private partnership for at least 23 years. However, citizens want to know what can be done about the current problems that are affecting their personal care opportunities.

There are a few potential solutions to counteract the state of the country. First, it’s essential that Aspen Medical gets held accountable for the damage caused. This can happen through legal action and by ensuring that they’re forced to pay reparations.

As the best way of saying this, all funds awarded to the company should go back to Fiji’s government. This will send a strong message to other companies that might consider taking on what they cannot handle within a certain timeframe. There are a few other possibilities as well such as:

  • Investing more resources into the healthcare system and reallocating misused resources
  • Awarding hospital management contracts to local service providers
  • Renegotiating the current PPP; shorter timeframe with reimbursement of used funds

Rooting out healthcare corruption is the most challenging part of this. Unfortunately, this is something that can’t be detected early in most cases. In the case of Aspen Medical’s failures and their contract, it was noticed too late.

The best way to combat this is to learn from Aspen Medical’s failures. Fiji needs to build support for reform and ensure that people are able to access the care they need.

Things such as investing in preventative care, developing sustainable funding models, and reforming regulations are all good tactics to help rebuild. By taking these steps, it will be possible to start repairing the damage caused by Aspen Medical and begin redeveloping Fiji’s healthcare systems.

Failed Hospital Management in Fiji Hospital Systems: Why Did It Happen?

The attempt was to privatise the Lautoka Hospital. Privatisation offers multiple benefits, from reduced hospital stays to increased operational margins. Instead, Lautoka experienced a public closure during the time of the contract.

While services got rerouted, this was essentially a case of poor planning. Good hospital management takes a strong stance on analytics and societal understanding. Aspen Medical lacked both. It also takes:

  • Strategic planning
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Patient advocacy
  • Appropriate system implementation

While Aspen Medical had some of these traits, they weren’t utilised properly. 

Solutions Don’t Have to Be Far Out of Reach

It’s clear that Aspen Medical has failed in its management of the healthcare systems in Fiji. This has had a negative impact on the quality of care available to citizens. Aspen Failed Fiji is an initiative focused on extending knowledge to the public. 

We know that steps must be taken to improve transparency and accountability. We also know that there is a need to engage with the community to raise awareness.

As a way to recover, citizens are calling for the cancellation of Aspen Medical. Learn more by following our blog.

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