Coral Coast Rehabilitation (CCR) is a not-for-profit Australian-based organisation that has been established to provide free rehabilitation to the people living around Coral Coast.
Korolevu-i-wai is situated on the Coral Coast off the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu between the major cities of Nadi and Suva (the capital), 30km east of Sigatoka where the closest hospital is located.
With approximately an hour and a half travel to either of the major cities, Korolevu-i-wai is considered a rural area. An estimated 49% of the Fijian population live in rural areas, which presents challenges in delivering healthcare rehabilitation services that are largely located in the major cities.
Like anywhere in the world, people living in Fiji experience incidents such as stroke, head injury, car trauma, amputation, work-place accidents, and other aging disabilities; all of which require specialist rehabilitation services. In Australia or developed western nations, you could expect an acute hospital admission, followed by comprehensive, individualised rehabilitation. Unfortunately Fiji is not in a position to offer such a speciality at the current time. Instead persons who require rehabilitation are often discharged home within a week back into the community or village where they live. From here they will receive support from village nurses that have basic training to help in all general aspects of healthcare.
Korolevu-i-wai is located between two hospitals, Sigatoka hospital, which only provides limited services (45 minute drive away) and Suva Hospital (one hour and 45 minute drive away). The majority of people however must travel to Lautoka Hospital (four hours away) for treatment. In all situations, travel to and from treatment is a major barrier due to cost, time away from work and limited public transport. This results in expensive taxi fares or the need to catch multiple buses. A local recently told us, “My family does not own a car and so we either hitch a ride or catch a bus to travel. I need rehab for my stroke but we cannot afford the bus fare to the clinic at the main hospital. I am now no longer able to work. The bus is expensive and I also need someone to travel with me, which means they cannot work and lose a day’s pay. We need the money in our family to help pay for our food and children’s clothes and school equipment. If I could afford private physio I would get some, but it is just too expensive and it is easier if I stay at home and let people go to work.”
CCR aims to help all people that would benefit from rehabilitation but cannot access such services, and to help the local healthcare staff learn and implement the speciality skills that we use.
CCR comprises of a volunteer team of highly specialised Australian-trained medical and allied health professionals working in Melbourne, Australia, who are focussed on helping the residents of Korolevu-i-wai to receive rehabilitation services. Such interventions include rehabilitation assessments, therapy plans, education on their disability and future options, and learning opportunities with the local health workers. The team has a combined total of 50 years of work experience in rehabilitation and is excited to be able to use these skills in Korolevu-i-wai.
VISION & MISSION
Our VISION is to provide free, accessible and expert physical, neurological and visual rehabilitation services to the people of Korolevu-i-wai.
Our MISSION is to work collaboratively with the people of Korolevu-i-wai and existing health services to make a positive difference by improving quality of life.
We value and build our team and work around: trust, professionalism, open communication, listening, and joint problem solving.
CCR is about making a positive and empowering difference to the individuals, families and health professionals that experience disability on a daily basis. We have a great team of motivated and experienced rehabilitation professionals, but we acknowledge we are only as good as the people we work with. This means we aim to work with the local Fijian people to not only to teach them rehabilitation assessment and treatment skills, but to also complete shared problem solving to help create the best rehabilitation solutions possible, that work best for their lives and village. Most importantly we aim to ensure that the people have ownership on their future.
We aim to provide annual face-to-face clinics of two-week-duration and to provide ongoing support with local health professionals via email, letter or telephone.