Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Atonio Lalabalavu has clarified that no taxpayer funds will be used for former Permanent Secretary of Health Dr James Fong’s farewell party.
Dr Lalabalavu gave his clarification after the International Women’s Association called on Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to intervene, claiming the Ministry is planning to host a farewell party for the outgoing Permanent Secretary using money allocated in its budget.
In a statement, IWA President Judy Compain said the decision by the Minister for Health Dr Antonio Lalabalavu to celebrate the retirement of Dr Fong next month, at the Ministry’s cost, is outrageous.
Compain claimed that Dr Lalabalavu issued a written directive that the Ministry would cover all expenditure through its health budget.
She said Fiji’s hospitals are desperately in need of financial resources to address failed and demised infrastructure and provide better medical support services to ordinary Fijians around the country and the irresponsible decision of the Minister is a slap in the faces of Fijians, who demand better health services.
Compain said that Dr Lalabalavu should know better than to blatantly issue this directive.
She called on the Government to curb its expenditures on unnecessary things.
However Dr Lalabalavu said there is no truth in the claims and questioned where Compain got her information from.