29 September 2016: NFP Whip responds to His Excellency’s Address

NFP Whip Hon Prem Singh responds to His Excellency The President’s Address and highlighted the plight of “Ms Komera Buka Tuicakau who passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 42 years from kidney failure. She succumbed to her ailment because she could not afford the cost of kidney dialysis.

Komera was a proud old scholar of Adi Cakobau School from Kadavu. She was a renowned sports teacher who was was instrumental in Adi Cakobau School’s winning streak in the area of athletics — she was an athlete herself, a teacher and a wife and an inspiration for the many youth athletes that she mentored.

Madam Speaker I raise Komera’s tragic circumstances in Parliament because here was a woman of standing, of life and of vitality who, through no fault of her own, could not continue to shine her light simply because she struggled to find affordable healthcare.

She pleaded for help through her Facebook posts, asking anyone to raise her plight with Government and the fact one session of kidney dialysis costs $250. That is $750 per week for three required sessions.

Madam Speaker, during the last two Budget debates, the Opposition earnestly pointed out the need to raise allocation for kidney dialysis from $300,000 to $1 to $2 million. But instead Government defeated our Motion and saw it fit to allocate $9 million for golf, $18 million as marketing grant for Fiji Airways and over $11 million to Fiji Broadcasting Commission for Public Service Broadcasting.

Unfortunately Madam Speaker, Komera’s plight will be replicated many times over for our people shackled by these debilitating costs unless Government refocuses its priorities. Until that happens or until Government changes hands in 2018, our people have no chance of getting fair and adequate treatment for kidney dialysis.”