An investigator hired to look into allegations of corruption in the Fiji School of Medicine (FSM) has revealed instances of corrupt practice in the medical institution.As reported by the Fiji Sun, investigator, Satish Chand, 'said death threats, bribery and hostile students were some of the problems he encountered during his work' and 'told of how rich Indian parents bribed senior officials for examination papers, which had been a common practice since 1994'.
He also alleged that 'a number of top senior officers involved in the leaking of examination papers were still employed at FSM'.
The medical school is attended by students from around the region and beyond and is affiliated with the University of the South Pacific.
According to the report, Mr. Chand said 'former FSM dean Professor David Brewster who resigned in January this year was the only person concerned about the matter' and that his resignation should be queried as the 'whole matter would have been swept under the carpet if he had not raised it time and again'.
Mr. Chand quotes incidents such as students often drinking 'alcohol and kava with their lecturers and at many times students consumed alcohol to such extent that they collapsed in their dormitories' and a 'parent who deposited $2000 into the bank account of the senior lecturer who in exchange provided her daughter with examination papers'.
Mr. Chand further states that 'students who did not receive the 280 cut marks to be accepted in FSM either bribed their way in or were related to senior FSM officers' and a Korean student who failed English was also accepted into the institution.
Fiji's interim Health Minister, Doctor Jiko Luveni, 'said she would need to see Mr Chands's investigation report before she could comment'.
The concern, if the allegations are true, is that the credibility of many who have graduated from the institution will be questioned. And if they are true, it means that Fiji and the region may be employing medical professionals that are not at all qualified to be in a field where they often are responsible for the lives of many.