20 Jan 2006

Four doctors leave Samoa after failed strike for better pay

9:32 am on 20 January 2006

Four doctors in Samoa have secured jobs overseas since the strike by government doctors last September while 11 have returned to government employment.

Two have opened private practices, one has joined the private hospital MedCen and one has resigned to run for parliament.

According to the Samoa Observer, the rest of the 34 doctors who went on strike are unemployed.

Most are awaiting licenses to go into private practice.

Several have been filling in for government doctors when called upon.

The newspaper based its report on information provided by the President of the Samoa Medical Association, Doctor Mauinu'uese Imo.

The doctors went on strike in a campaign for increased entry salaries for the profession and improved working conditions.

The government agreed to changes recommended by a commission of inquiry but the doctors' main demand to hike the starting salary was denied.

23 doctors subsequently resigned to avoid being fired.