Saturday, August 11, 2007


SHE is the only private practitioner on the garden island of Taveuni but that does not necessarily mean business is on her side.
For Doctor Losana Taroga, being the only private doctor comes with a great package from publicising her practice to providing unavailable drugs to members of the community.
She started her practice in January this year and business was slow at first.
But after much support from her husband, Gabriel Taroga, who as part of the promotion told every second soul he met about his wife's practice, the number of patients increased gradually.
"Even when he goes farming he tells villagers about my practice, when he is in the supermarket he tells people about the practice so it is a great help," she joked.
"I don't have to pay an advertising crew to do the promotion."
Comparing Taveuni to previous places where she worked such as Tavua and Suva, Dr Lo said the garden island was the toughest in the sense that business was slow but when people started to know of her practice, they not only visited her for medical purposes but to buy drugs as well.
"So I have to keep a good stock of drugs and expensive ones too because they are not readily available on the island. That is why people visit the clinic to buy drugs," she said.
"I always make sure a prescription is with them before the drugs are bought and I check to see if the drugs suit their sickness."
Dr Lo has seen how successful her husband's promotional work has been. Last month, she started a weekly medical check-up on Laucala Island for workers building a resort there.
"I was approached by the management on the island and it has come as a great help," she said.
"I want to thank the management for thinking of me and giving me good business.
"I travel to the island every Thursday morning and return in the evening with my transport and boat provided by them."
Even when she returns in the evening, messages from patients would be on her table.
"So I call my patients again and ask them what's wrong. At times I have to travel to their homes to examine them because they cannot come to the clinic," she said.
"Even if it's at night, I still go because I am the only private practitioner and receiving such calls from people wanting to be seen by a doctor at home and at whatever time, means a great deal to me."
As a member of the Taveuni Rotary Club, Dr Lo helps out with voluntary work when groups of doctors arrive on the island from overseas.
At times, the voluntary work deals with cleaning compounds in villages and renovating buildings and she sees it as a great way of building relationships with the community.
Dr Lo has five children and she contributes her success to the support of her family, especially her husband. "Without them I wouldn't have built a reputation in this community and my husband, who's originally from Taveuni, did a lot," she said.

Adapted from Fijitimes Online