Raju said some GPs thought Fiji could be as liberal because of the huge demand for terminations.
7000 ask to end gestation
Monday, March 29, 2010
A 2006 study has revealed the general practitioners handle close to 7000 requests every year for termination of pregnancies.
Fiji College of General Practitioners president Dr Ram Raju said the research was published in journal The Fiji General Practitioner.
FCGP members yesterday held a mini seminar to discuss the Crimes Decree which came into effect last month.
The decree does not allow general practitioners to use any drug for abortion.
It states it is not illegal for a medical practitioner to perform an abortion as a result of incest. The abortion of foetus conceived through rape is also not illegal under the decree.
Dr Raju said the decree also stated abortions could only be carried out by a hospital-based consultant or in a hospital setting.
"That means abortion can be carried out in a hospital setting provided two doctors have examined and thoroughly looked at the indications," he said.
According to Dr Raju, GPs did not have the setting to do abortion as stated under the decree.
"I think the decree still allows a general practitioner to be highly responsible and work within the laws," he said.
Dr Raju said there were always a substantial number of consultation, requests for termination and counselling for family planning the general practitioners continue to provide on unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.
He said the new decree may prevent the above services being provided.
Dr Raju said the college was asking the members to ensure that proper documentation was done and that counselling was very important.
He said some members also felt that the decree was restrictive in cases of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
"It is far more liberal in Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada and other countries," he said.
Dr Raju said some GPs thought Fiji could be as liberal because of the huge demand for terminations.
"We feel it's mainly due to failed contraception," he said.