25 Jan 2006

Samoan clinics to re-open in a week after strike-related closures

4:44 pm on 25 January 2006

The Samoan public hospital says the general clinic has enough staff for the specialist clinic to re-open in a week.

The closure came amid an unsuccessful strike by public sector doctors last year after which 23 doctors resigned.

But the assistant CEO, Dr Stanley Dean, says the hospital now has 30 doctors, including ten that had previously resigned.

Dr Dean says the surgery and anesthesia units are still short of staff and are running emergency services only, but the government is trying to re-staff these sections.

He also says the government needs to find doctors for the specialist clinic.

"We will open our special clinic in February that was closed during the strike and we are already requesting from an overseas agency. So, hopefully we will be able to make up these positions in the next few weeks."

Dr Dean says staff will mainly be recruited from China and India.

He says a language barrier might be a problem, but people should learn to speak English to overcome these difficulties.