Health officials reminded to avoid propagating fake news

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete at the Punjas Health Centre this morning. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI/FILE

HEALTH professionals have been reminded to avoid initiating or propagating fake news.

This was the message conveyed by Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete during his meeting with the staff of the Lautoka Hospital on Tuesday.

He said such acts could make the public anxious.

He said information given by health professionals were vital to the public and dissemination of fake news could erode trust in health officials.

“As civil servants and as health professionals, the public looks up to us so whatever we utter and whatever we write they will see it as very important,” he said.

“So when we propagate or initiate fake news it can give anxiety to the public.

“We discussed the importance of our roles in making sure that we maintain confidentiality at all times because that is the role of any health professional in guarding the information.”

Dr Waqainabete reiterated the importance for health professionals to adhere to the civil service General Orders, which “talks about maintaining confidentially at all times and confidentiality within the Ministry of Health because we are health professionals and also we work under the civil service– it is important that we ensure that we maintain confidentiality.”

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