13 Sep 2005

Samoa Cabinet to establish Commission of Enquiry into doctor's strike

10:22 am on 13 September 2005

An emergency meeting of Samoa's Cabinet has approved the establishment of a Commission of Enquiry to look into the grievances of striking doctors.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele says the commission will look into the request by doctors for a higher entry level salary for doctors.

The emergency cabinet meeting also looked at options to provide patient care during the strike.

The commission has until October 7 to submit a report.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister has issued a statement on efforts by the government to increase salaries of the medical profession.

He said that the latest salary increase for doctors awarded on July 1st this year puts the entry level salaries of doctors at $US 9,314, the highest in the public service.

In comparison engineering graduates receive 7,755 US dollars, a law graduate gets $6,515 and the entry point for general bachelor graduates is $6,205.

He said that a remuneration package approved by the government and spread over three financial years, would see the starting salary for doctors set at 10,930 US dollars by July 1st 2007.

A spokesperson for the Samoa Medical Association Dr, Viali Lameko says they have yet to be officially informed of this development.

He says the strike is continuing.