Accidents happen, unfortunately, even in Fiji. Some may say especially in Fiji!! When an emergency situation arises it is best to have a plan ready to put in action. Expats moving to Fiji usually have health insurance as part of their job package, our family certainly does. However, it is the pre-hospital care that is a bit hit and miss., to say the least.
Our family had a traumatic incident a few years ago. We rang the ambulance and were told there was no ambulance. There was no calm voice talking us through anything over the phone, we may as well not have rung at all. Unfortunately this is a common occurrence.
When a balcony fell off the side of a building a few years ago, there were critical injuries. When the ambulance was called no one answered. A long wait, a few more phone calls and someone offered to send a van! Finally after the arrival of the ambulance the patients were scooped up and sent to the hospital. Sadly, there was no treatment at the site or pain relief for the bumpy ride to hospital.
I have signed up for Emergency Medical Services. When speaking with my daughter who made the phone call to the ambulance and telling her about this cover, she said “Tell everyone. Everyone needs this in Fiji”. St Johns Ambulance do the best they can with what they have, however it is nothing like an expat from a developed nation would expect in an ambulance.
So here is the link http://ems.com.fj/affiliate/ff1 it is the sort of thing you need to know about before you actually need to use it. For the price of less than a family meal at a mid-range restaurant per month, it is good peace of mind.
For other safety tips check out Find Your Feet Fiji’s previous article which covers other safety aspects of living in Fiji.
One of the reasons that pre-hospital care is not ideal is that Fiji does not have just one emergency number. In the front of the phone book there is a page of emergency numbers. Find Your Feet Fiji definitely recommends going “old school” and having a phone book at home.
Googling “Emergency Numbers in Fiji” brings up a list of numbers as listed here:
For people who would like to know about dentist options, doctors, 24/7 pharmacies and other medical information please book a tour with me and I can show you around. It is the sort of knowledge that will help you settle safely into living in Fiji.