19 Sep 2005

Management at Samoa's public hospital says they're coping with doctors strike

1:55 pm on 19 September 2005

The management at Samoa's public hospital says it is coping with the impact of the doctors' strike as it heads into its second week with no sign of resolution.

Dr Stanley Dean, the assistant chief executive officer for clinical health services, says only emergency surgery is being undertaken, not any elective surgery, and specialist clinics remain shut.

He says they are very short staffed with 32 public doctors on strike.

Dr Dean says the government is asking for assistance from overseas, including Samoan doctors in New Zealand, whether they'll return in the short term to act as locums.

"So far, we are coping waiting for a solution to the strike. It's also, the public is also helping in another way, in that we don't have that many patients at the moment. So, so far we are coping and we'll see how we go the next week."

Dr Dean says the Commission of Enquiry into the strike is not expected to report back before about the 7th of October so there may not be an end to the strike before then.