7 Jun 2006

Tuvalu PM says his government will pay NZ hospital bill

9:33 am on 7 June 2006

Tuvalu's Prime Minister Maatia Toafa says his government is willing to pay whatever it owes over a New Zealand hospital bill for one of its politicians.

According to the Islands Business magazine Tuvalu has reportedly already paid most of an Auckland hospital bill of 75-thousand US dollars for the politician after a diplomatic exchange with New Zealand.

The report says the New Zealand High Commission in Suva summoned the Tuvalu High Commission and told them the bill had to be paid immediately.

But Mr Toafa downplayed the exchange and says the Health Ministry is settling the matter.

"But whatever will happen... I think the guy is a referral patient, so the government is obligated to do just that. But I think it's just a matter of reconciling or checking the bill is correct or what."