28 Oct 2005

Bird flu preparations upset striking doctors in Samoa

2:19 pm on 28 October 2005

Striking doctors in Samoa say they're upset that the government has moved quickly to allocate two million US dollars to prepare against an avian flu pandemic.

They say the government was never prepared to answer their demands for salary increases.

One doctor has told the Samoa Observer, if the government had reacted that quickly when the Samoa Medical Association raised concerns over working conditions, the strike would not have happened.

The doctor said the government had pulled out two million US dollars for a plan against a virus that had a very remote chance of reaching Samoa.

The doctor said people were dying while the doctors were on strike and the government never made an offer to meet the doctors' demands for higher salaries.