During the COVID-19 pandemic, various hospitals across the world closed due to patients not being safe. One of the most significant closures concerns the Lautoka Hospital in Lautoka, Fiji. Having closed down in November of 2020, the hospital finally reopened on June 14, 2021.
Government officials have vowed to enact and enforce extra infection control measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
The Lautoka Hospital shutdown aimed to make it safer for patients and staff. Keep reading to find out how Aspen Medical neglected to fulfil its promises.
How Is Aspen Medical Involved in Fiji?
Aspen Medical is an Australian company that provides global healthcare solutions.
The Government of Fiji signed a 23-year contract with Aspen Medical in November 2018. Some of the promises Aspen Medical made included:
- upgrading the equipment at the Lautoka and Ba Hospitals
- having both hospitals operating at full capacity by June 2021
- adding 305 beds to Lautoka Hospital
Aspen Medical to Blame for Lautoka Hospital Shutdown
Discovering the privatization of health services brings about a sense of security. But, the realities of privatization often prove to be completely different. This is primarily due to profit-driven providers and the knowledge gap.
Aspen Medical Management (AMM) managed the Lautoka Hospital in Fiji from January 2018 until January 2020. The Ministry of Health and seven others sued AMM due to the hospital shutdown. The case centred on the disappearance of clinical equipment.
This exemplifies how attempting to save money in the healthcare sector comes with significant risks.
Allegations of Corruption
The disappearance of equipment from the Lautoka Hospital in Fiji isn’t the only allegation they are facing. Whistleblowers have pointed out:
- questionable relationships between Aspen Medical and corrupt officials
- lack of proof that Aspen Medical can fulfil the contracts
These whistleblowers are also questioning how Aspen Medical manages to land large contracts in the first place. People are demanding to see proof that Aspen Medical can keep its promises and want them to answer for the current issues.
You can visit aspenfailedfiji.org for more information on these allegations. If you have any information to share about these allegations, please contact Info@AspenFailedFiji.org.
Aspen Medical Must Be Held Accountable
The Aspen Medical failures have led to the shutdown of Lautoka hospital and can be tied to the increased amount of deaths Fiji experienced.
Since hospitals were shut down or running at a limited capacity, many citizens didn’t have access to needed medical treatments. This tied in with the number of COVID-19 related deaths and the lack of vaccine distribution paint a clear picture of Aspen Medical’s failure.
It has been made clear that Aspen Medical’s failures played a large role in the problems Fiji is facing and it’s time for them to be held accountable.
Please see our blog for more information on the Aspen Medical issue in Fiji. You can also contact us at Info@AspenFailedFiji.org to get the latest updates.