Fiji

Location 1 week 2 weeks 3 weeks 4 weeks
  • Medical Clinic on Viti Levu
$1,595 AUD*
$1,195 AUD**
$2,395 AUD*
$1,695 AUD**
$3,195 AUD*
$2,195 AUD**
$3,995 AUD*
$2,695 AUD**
  • Medical Clinic on Vanua Levu
$1,595 AUD $2,295 AUD
  • Lautoka Hospital
$1,995 AUD*
$1,395 AUD**
$2,595 AUD*
$1,695 AUD**
$3,195 AUD*
$1,995 AUD**

* single ** per person (twin share)

Fiji is a tropical, friendly yet unusual place to spend some time on a volunteer project or work experience placement. Our voluntary projects in Fiji are a world away from the luxury tourist resorts which form many people’s perception of the islands. Fiji is without a doubt a beautiful place, with secluded white beaches, snorkelling, diving and fishing.

Whether you are enjoying the abundant fruits of the rainforests or hiking up extinct volcanoes, you can’t help but feel you have travelled to a place preserved from the chaos of our modern world. The Fijian people are among the friendliest people you will ever meet, and their traditional song, dance, and cuisine will enchant you.

We have projects on the largest island of Viti Levu (known as the ‘mainland’) located in Lautoka or Suva, or on the second largest island of Vanua Levu in SavuSavu or a remote clinic. You will be working in the poorer areas which are most in need of help. Immerse yourself in the culture, learn to live on ‘Fiji time’ and experience island life.


Volunteer Placements

Where possible the placement is tailored to suit your experience, skills and preferences whilst taking into account the priorities of the local hospital or clinic where you are working. No doubt you will receive a warm Fijian welcome by your new colleagues who are keen to receive volunteers. As with all volunteering projects you will need an open mind, a level of resourcefulness, patience and a flexible attitude. We arrange the local medical registration which may take up to 1 month to complete and therefore please apply at least 2 months prior to departure!

Remote Medical Clinic on Viti Levu (main island)

The clinic was established in 2011 jointly by the Ministry of Health and the local universities and is funded by charitable donations. There are two general practitioners, two part-time specialists, two nurses plus several support staff. Free medical services are available to everyone and there are around 15,000 people in the district. The clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm. The team are involved in research, training and community education whilst their clinical services include:

  • General Outpatient services (approx 70 patients/day).
  • Maternal Child Health clinics (approx 45/week).
  • Family Planning.
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology (approx 15/week).
  • Visiting specialist services.
  • Complex conditions – advice on management of conditions that may require overseas treatment.
  • NCD Clinic – approx 120/month.
  • Preventative health and wellness activities.
  • Reproductive Health.
  • Pharmaceutical

Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease are an increasing issue for the local community and are responsible for most visits to doctors, hospitals, early retirement and early death for both men and women. The major risk factors for NCD are obesity, lack of exercise, eating the wrong food, smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol and kava. The clinic therefore provides general outpatient services and a special clinic is run on Thursdays for those with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. There is an outreach program run by a nurse to ensure that known diabetics and hypertensives comply with their treatment and the clinic provides free medication.

Research is being undertaken on reducing NCD risk factors in the community and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Strategies are being developed to empower women to become more proactive in reducing NCD risk factors for their families. This includes reducing sugar and salt, using less saturated fats and encouraging more exercise in the family.

Community meetings have been held to explore innovative health promotion strategies for the community. Volunteers from the Community have been recruited and trained to work as community health workers and will support the nurse in health outreach activities..

The clinic is served by two Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and there is a comprehensive project on Reproductive Health underway. Fiji has one of the highest incidences of cervical cancer and it is the most common cause of cancer deaths in women. This is a preventable disease and hence strategies need to be worked out to increase the uptake of screening for cervical cancer. There is a high rate of unplanned pregnancies with a high unmet need for contraception. Sexually Transmitted Infections and Gender Based Violence are other challenges. There is a strong belief that the empowered woman can contribute even more to society by maintaining good physical, mental, spiritual and social health.

Dental hygiene and health is very poor in the community especially amongst children and there is a purpose built dental surgery which is in the process of being equipped by donors.


 

1. HOSPITALS IN LAUTOKA, SAVUSAVU & SUVA

These large public hospitals continue to experience shortages of doctors, nurses and consumables and therefore all medical practitioners are needed to lend a hand and possibly take some medical supplies. The most common local conditions include NCD’s (particularly diabetes and heart disease), drownings and general medicine.

All departments are short-staffed however the skills that are most in need include general surgeons, orthopaedics, anaesthetists, pharmacists, O&G, dentistry, ICU and A&E. They also appreciate those who can help to train and upskill the local teams.

Volunteers are welcomed with a short orientation at the hospital and will initially work alongside another staff member whilst settling in. We provide you with an information booklet and a list of recommended items to take with you. Visit for just one or two weeks – and then make it an annual working holiday!

2. REMOTE MEDICAL CLINIC ON VANUA LEVU

The clinic provides primary health care and welcomes medical specialists, including ophthalmologists, dentists, paediatricians, O&G, general surgeons, plastic surgeons, cardiologists, nurse practitioners, anaesthetists, health educators and nutritionists. University students and families are also welcome. The air-conditioned facility has a large waiting room and reception area, several exam rooms, and an operating room. Available equipment includes a full eye exam centre, equipment for producing prescription eyeglasses, a surgical microscope, dental chairs, and dental instruments, an x-ray machine, general anaesthesia equipment as well as a surgical theatre. While they strive to equip the clinic as complete as possible, medical teams can help by bringing the specialized equipment and materials they need.

Many health problems, such as skin diseases and cataracts that would otherwise be permanently debilitating are relatively simple to cure at the clinic. Through the generosity of medical professionals the clinic offers free medical care in a modern medical facility to rural Fijians. Patients visit the clinic from all over the island (population of approximately 200,000) as well as from the mainland and nearby islands of Taveuni, Kiowa, and Rabi. The population that can be reached by the clinic is in the hundreds of thousands. Although the Fijian government works diligently to provide free medical care, specialized care is often not available or accessible, either geographically or financially. The result is many suffer acutely from debilitating, but treatable skin diseases, blindness, heart disease, various injuries, tooth decay, etc.


CULTURAL SENSITIVITY: In order to maintain safety and the local culture, this placement restricts alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs and immodest dress at all times.


3. HEALTHCARE

Volunteering on a healthcare project is an ideal way to get involved with the local community and help improve the health of newborn babies, children and adults. You may be working in various areas including helping with the education and training of wellness officers, health and disease screening, raising health and nutrition awareness through talks and presentations, or taking part in local community outreach services. You may also assist with the general administration of the clinic, including database development and marketing activities via social media and web maintenance. Depending on your individual skills and experience tasks can also include report writing and editing, and research assistance either in the field or laboratory. Volunteers are asked to remain flexible and use their initiative in order to get the most out of this placement. The key priorities are education and research to help prevent disease, promote healthier diet and lifestyle.

4. TEACHING

Many children do not have access to school for grades 11 through 13 in their immediate area. Transportation costs and school fees prohibit most of the students to continue their education past the 10th grade. When families can afford to send their children away to continue their education it is stressful on the family in a variety of ways. The goal therefore is to offer free secondary education locally to keep families together with a high standard of education right in their backyard. With a commitment to outstanding academics and moral values, train the educators, professionals, and leaders of the future. Parents are encouraged to participate directly in their children’s academics, extra-curricular activities, programs aimed at strengthening families and promoting healthy living and spiritual growth.

Volunteer opportunities at the School include assisting with the development of new programs such as sports, debate, drama, environmental clubs, etc. Teaching in Fiji will give you a unique new perspective on this island nation. Education is not compulsory; however 99% of Fijian children attend primary school which is free for the first 8 years. Volunteer teachers usually start by working alongside the local Fijian staff to help improve conversational English.

Teaching in Fiji will give you a unique new perspective on this island nation. Education is not compulsory; however 99% of Fijian children attend primary school which is free for the first 8 years. Volunteer teachers usually start by working alongside the local Fijian staff to help improve conversational English. Through assisting with English lessons and introducing fun ideas and activities you will improve the student’s enthusiasm and develop their confidence. They are sure to be interested in you and your life, and you can get them talking about a wide variety of topics. As well as English lessons, you may be asked to assist with Maths, Science and Sports. You may also be marking pupil’s work, preparing homework or assisting with the preparation of lessons.


Arrival & Orientation

You will fly into Nadi International Airport and then, depending on your actual placement, connect to either Suva or SavuSavu Airport and then travel by taxi to your accommodation. In most cases, accommodation is at a comfortable guesthouse in a private room with air-conditioning, fan, tv, tea & coffee making facilities and ensuite bathroom with shower. Restaurant or dining facility (in some cases a kitchenette) are available as well as a swimming pool. You can look forward to trying a variety of tantalising local dishes including taro, breadfruit, sweet potato, cassava, and cassava chips, coconut, curries, fabulous seafood and fresh tropical fruit. A Fijian speciality is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground – unusual but delicious!


 

When to Go

April – early Oct = Best time to visit. Dry season with warm weather.
Nov – March = Humid and hot. Wet season and rain can be expected.

Nadi Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Av Max C 31.6°C 31.5°C 31.1°C 30.6°C 29.8°C 29.2°C 28.5°C 28.7°C 29.4°C 30.2°C 30.9°C 31.4°C
Av Min C 22.7°C 23°C 22.6°C 21.7°C 20.1°C 19.3°C 18.3°C 18.4°C 19.3°C 20.4°C 21.5°C 22.1°C
Rainfall mm 299 302 324 163 78 62 46 58 77 103 138 159
Rain Days 18 18 19 12 7 6 5 5 6 9 11 13

 

Cost (per person)

Medical Clinic on Viti Levu

2 week Medical Volunteer Program = A$2,395 single / A$1,695 per person (twin share)
3 week Medical Volunteer Program = A$3,195 single / A$2,195 per person (twin share)
4 week Medical Volunteer Program = A$3,995 single / A$2,695 per person (twin share)

Inclusions Exclusions
Pre-departure advice, support and information pack Lunch, Snacks and Drinks
Medical Registration Fee Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone & laundry)
Accommodation at a comfortable guesthouse in a superior twin bedded room with ensuite bathroom, ceiling fan, air-conditioning, TV and coffee making facilities. The accommodation is a 15-minute walk to the clinic. Travel insurance
Daily continental breakfasts and light dinner Vaccinations
A swimming pool is onsite with a variety of sporting activities in a garden setting Passport fees and local work permit
On site Medical Supervisor and registration Medical Elective Registration fee (students only)
 Transfers between Nadi Airport and Accommodation Flights (and taxes) to and from Nadi, Fiji

Medical Clinic on Vanua Levu

1 week Medical Volunteer Program = A$1,595 per person
2 week Medical Volunteer Program = A$2,295 per person

Inclusions Exclusions
Pre-departure advice, support and information pack Items of a personal nature (ie. internet, telephone etc)
Arrival induction and orientation Travel insurance
Accommodation at a comfortable lodge in shared room with ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, ceiling fan, and linen provided. The lodge is adjacent to the medical clinic. Optional excursions while Volunteering
A salt water swimming pool is onsite along with a variety of sporting activities Passport, Visa and Police Report fees (where applicable)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily served in ocean front dining area with water and fruit juice Vaccinations
Private transfers between SavuSavu Airport and accommodation Flights (and taxes) to and from Fiji and transport to the clinic
24/7 local in-country ground support
On site Medical Supervisor and Registration

Lautoka Hospital

2 week Volunteer Program = A$1,995 (single) / A$1,395 per person (twin share)
3 week Volunteer Program = A$2,595 (single) / A$1,695 per person (twin share)
4 week Volunteer Program = A$3,195 (single) / A$1,995 per person (twin share)

Inclusions Exclusions
Pre-departure advice, support and information pack Meals and drinks
Medical registration fee Items of a personal nature (eg. telephone & laundry)
Accommodation at a comfortable guesthouse in a superior double-bedded room with ensuite bathroom, ceiling fan, air-conditioning, TV and kitchenette. The accommodation is a short walk to the hospital. Travel insurance
A supermarket is close by as well as a selection of dining options Vaccinations
A swimming pool is onsite along with a variety of sporting activities in a garden setting Passport fees and work permit
On site Medical Supervisor Medical Elective Registration (students only)
 Transfers between Nadi Airport and Accommodation Flights (and taxes) to and from Nadi, Fiji

 

Volunteers are required to submit a recent Working with Children Check or a police report – we can advise on how to arrange this.


 

Terms & Conditions

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (‘CPD’) & PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY

Your medical voluntary work may be eligible for CPD points from your relevant college. Please ask if you would like advice or assistance with this.

We recommend that you advise your professional indemnity provider of your volunteer work in advance of travel.

DEPOSIT
Processing of your Volunteer Application Form can be initiated once we have received your deposit. Due with your enclosed Application Form is $ 495.00 per person. This deposit is non-refundable.

FINAL PAYMENT is due two months prior to departure or on receipt of invoice if travelling in less Fiji_boys-at-hospitalthan two months. Apologies but payments by Visa and Master Card will incur a 1.5% fee and American Express 3.0%.

FLIGHTS

Contact STA Travel if you would like assistance with your flights, optional tours or travel insurance.  STA Travel provides special offers and benefits for volunteers and therefore please call direct:  Email:  doctours.au@statravel.com   Phone:  1300 675 435

Or you may prefer to book your own flights with Fiji Airways or Virgin Airways on the internet.

VISAS
Tourist Visas are currently issued on arrival for those with Australian passports for visits up to 4 months in Fiji.

TRAVEL INSURANCE
It is a condition of your travel arrangements that you have current travel insurance to cover against cancellation fees, medical expenses, lost luggage and evacuation. Please ask if you would like any advice or assistance with travel insurance.

CANCELLATION FEES
Please refer to the Conditions section of the Application Form.


Please note that all costs are subject to change due to airline increases, taxes, hotel and volunteer price increases, as well as currency adjustments.