|Location||1 week||2 weeks||3 weeks||4 weeks|
||$1,395 AUD||$2,095 AUD|
||$1,195 AUD||$1,395 AUD||$1,695 AUD||$1,995 AUD|
Fiji is a tropical, friendly yet unusual place to spend some time on a medical 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 and diving.
Medical Volunteering in Fiji: The hospitals in Fiji welcome an extra pair of hands and will value your specialist skills and experience. We have projects on the largest island of Viti Levu (known as the ‘mainland’) located in Lautoka, Nadi, Sigatoka or Suva, or on the second largest island of Vanua Levu in Savusavu, Labasa 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. Whether you are enjoying the abundant fruits of the rain forests 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.
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. While medical volunteering in Fiji, you may need to be proactive, keep 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!
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:
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.
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.
These large public hospitals continue to experience shortages of doctors, nurses and consumables and therefore all skills are welcomed for medical volunteering in Fiji. Lend a hand, share your knowledge 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, develop and upskill the local teams.
Medical volunteering in Fiji may start with a short orientation at the hospital and you 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!
The clinic provides primary health care and welcomes all skills for volunteering in Fiji. Including 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.
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.
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 and drama. 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 encourage them to talk about a wide variety of topics. 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.
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 specialty is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground – unusual but delicious!
April – early Oct = Best time to visit. Dry season with warm weather.
Nov – March = Humid and hot. Wet season and rain can be expected.
|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|
1 week: A$1,395 single / A$1,195 per person (twin share)
2 weeks: A$1,995 single / A$1,495 per person (twin share)
3 weeks: A$2,495 single / A$1,795 per person (twin share)
4 weeks: A$2,995 single / A$1,995 per person (twin share)
|Pre-departure advice, support and information pack||Meals and Drinks|
|Medical Registration Fee||Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone & laundry)|
|Accommodation at a comfortable guesthouse in a twin room with ensuite bathroom, ceiling fan, air-conditioning, TV and coffee making facilities. A home stay option is also available – please ask for more details.||Travel insurance|
|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|
|Transfers between Nadi Airport and Accommodation. Local orientation.||Flights (and taxes) to and from Nadi, Fiji|
|Contribution to the Clinic|
1 week: A$1,595 per person
2 weeks: A$2,295 per person
|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|
|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|
HOME STAY OPTION (Per Person)
1 week: A$1,195
2 weeks: A$1,395
4 weeks: A$1,995
Other durations are available – please ask!
|Pre-departure advice, support and information pack||Drinks|
|Medical registration fee||Items of a personal nature (eg. telephone)|
|Accommodation at a comfortable family home stay. Own room or share with another volunteer. Facilities include bathroom, fan, laundry and most meals.||Travel insurance|
|Transfers between Nadi Airport and Accommodation||Vaccinations|
|Orientation||Passport fees and work permit|
|On site Medical Supervisor||Flights (and taxes) to and from Nadi, Fiji|
GUEST HOUSE OPTION
1 week: A$1,395 (single) / A$1,195 per person (twin share)
2 weeks: A$1,995 (single) / A$1,495 per person (twin share)
3 weeks: A$2,495 (single) / A$1,795 per person (twin share)
4 weeks: A$2,995 (single) / A$1,995 per person (twin share)
|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|
Medical Volunteering in Fiji will need a recent Working with Children Check or a police report – we can advise on how to arrange this.
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 medical volunteering in Fiji in advance of travel.
DEPOSIT A deposit of A$495 is requested after your placement is confirmed. This deposit is non-refundable.
FINAL PAYMENT is due two months prior to departure.
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: email@example.com Phone: 1300 675 435
Or you may prefer to book your own flights with Fiji Airways, Jetstar, Air New Zealand or Virgin Airways on the internet.
Visas are currently issued on arrival in Fiji for most nationalities.
It is a condition of your medical volunteering in Fiji that you have current travel insurance to cover against cancellation fees, medical expenses and evacuation. Please ask if you would like any advice or assistance with travel insurance.
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.
Read about some of the amazing experiences from our previous medical volunteers in Fiji on our Blog