5 Dec 2005

Samoa doctors rule out return to hospital jobs unless conditions improve

4:40 pm on 5 December 2005

The Samoa Medical Association says doctors are willing to return to work to serve the public but not unless current pay conditions are changed.

At a meeting last week members of the association voted unanimously not to return to work.

President Dr Mauinu'uese Imo told the Samoa Observer that while they sympathised with pleas from the public to government to accept them back, they will not return under current terms.

The association had given members over the weekend to ponder a return to work after seeing the public march a week ago in support of government doctors who went on strike.

The marchers presented a petition to government to rehire the more than 23 doctors who had to resign or face dismissal.

Dr Imo says they resigned because the government refused to listen to them.

She says the government had turned their complaints into a political game and in the end they were made to look like the bad ones.

Dr Imo says the doctors want to serve the public but the government has shut the door on them.