16 May 2006

Samoa government ready to improve working conditions for doctors and nurses

3:37 pm on 16 May 2006

The Samoan Government has given a commission of inquiry, appointed last year during the doctor's strike, four weeks to follow up progress on recommendations.

The follow up is to check if Cabinet's suggestions have been carried out.

It comes after the Medical Association recently raised, through the media, several problems such as under-staffing and long working hours for doctors and nurses.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Lupesoli'ai Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the commission will review doctor's salaries, taking into account their level of expertise, qualifications, experience and years of service.

Cabinet's decision on salaries was among a number of key recommendations from the commission.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is currently negotiating the hiring of doctors from New Zealand and India.

This is to ease the problem of overwork facing the twenty two doctors presently providing public health services.