Doctors earning healthy salary

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Iferemi Waqainabete at Parliament last week. Picture: ATU RASEA

GRADUATE doctors are earning more than double the amount what senior doctors received about 20 years ago, says Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

He said the initiative taken by Government had resulted in an improved doctor-patient ratio and better health care.

“When I was a young doctor about 20 years ago, there were only about 200 of us in the civil service, now there’s nearly 800,” he said.

“From 1987 to 2003, we lost 75 per cent of doctors in the civil service. They were doctors older than me who should have been the Minister for Health, permanent secretary for Health or should have been consultants – they left due to political instability and uncertainty at that time.

“Now we are stable, secure and have very good salaries — this Government doubled the salaries for doctors.

“The starting salary for a young doctor who finishes school and starts the following year is $45,000.

“In comparison, when I started work no senior doctor was getting paid $45,000.

“That’s why doctors are not leaving like before.”

Dr Waqainabete said now that the doctor-patient ratio had improved, the focus would shift towards providing better quality medical care.

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