5 Nov 2003

Niue health minister hopes probe will reassure hospital users

6:02 am on 5 November 2003

Niue's Minister of Health, Fisa Pihigia, says he hopes an inquiry into alleged misdiagnoses at the Lord Liverpool Hospital will reassure those using its services.

A former medical officer at the hospital, Dr Mary-Jane Vega, said in a report drawn up for government, but also distributed publicly, that patients received the wrong treatment on at least five occasions.

Mr Pihigia says he is concerned the doctor distributed her paper on the day she was leaving the country so that she couldn't contribute to the inquiry.

He has rejected any suggestions that complaints about medical services would have been buried if the information hadn't been made public:

"If she had raised it with the proper people like myself or the Niue Public Services Commission who is the employing authority, people would be looking into it because they don't want to be known later on that we tried to cover up or hide whatever has been raise by the doctor."

The results of an inquiry into allegations of poor standards at Niue's Lord Liverpool Hospital will be presented to Cabinet today.