6 Oct 2005

Samoa government restates that NZ medical team due in Apia

2:37 pm on 6 October 2005

The Samoan government has re-stated that a 25-strong medical team from New Zealand is to arrive later this year to conduct heart operations in Samoa.

In a statement, the health minister, Mulitalo Siafausa Vui, says the initiative was planned in 2001 under a project funded by the World Bank and the government of Samoa.

It is organised by Samoa's medical agent in New Zealand Papali'i Dr CS Benjamin of Auckland Hospital.

The statement follows a denial by Mulitalo this week that the government had issued a statement to that effect.

The latest statement also says a container of medical equipment to be used in the operations is expected to arrive from New Zealand soon.

The government this week also said the inquiry into the strike by public hospital doctors will be extended by two weeks.

They have been off work for nearly a month to push for a higher starting salary and better conditions.