10 Nov 2005

Come back to work, Samoan doctor urges striking colleagues

9:10 am on 10 November 2005

A senior government doctor in Samoa has appealed for his striking colleagues to return to work.

The Samoa Observer newspaper reports the call comes from one of the few government doctors who hasn't been taking part in the strike action.

The Assistant Chief Executive of Clinical Services at the national hospital in Moto'otua, Doctor Stanley Dean, says his staff are tired and the work is beginning to take its toll after more than two months of strike action.

Since 30 government doctors walked off their jobs demanding higher starting salaries for doctors and better working conditions, a handful of Chinese and Indian doctors, as well as a few Samoan doctors, have been providing essential services.

Dr Dean says they have been stretched to their limits.

Meanwhile striking doctors are scheduled to give a response today to the cabinet's decision on the Commission of Inquiry report into the strike.

Cabinet is supporting the commission's recommendation, not to raise the starting salary of doctors, but it agrees that benefits and working conditions should be improved.