30 Jun 2007

Health services in Samoa drop under public sector reforms says academic

10:25 am on 30 June 2007

An academic says education in Samoa has improved, while health services have worsened since the introduction of public sector reforms in the country.

In the mid 1990s Samoa underwent major changes in the public sector, including budget re-allocations and cuts to staff numbers.

Professor Asofou So'o from the National University in Samoa says his research shows there are now fewer ministry staff in the villages and the area where this is most obvious is health.

"No improvement in health services. If anything it has gone worse. But what villagers tell us is that knowledge from the workshops that officials from the health services have given them, they are now applying that knowledge, they are doing their own health services."

Professor So'o says education has improved with more children being literate , while the reform appears to have had no major impacts in the agricultural sector.