3 Mar 2010

Samoa national health services to address medical problems

7:24 pm on 3 March 2010

The National Health Services in Samoa is stepping up efforts to improve its services.

It's announced all essential medications should now be available at all district hospitals.

This comes after criticism of services following the deaths of a mother and her unborn child at Tuasivi Hospital on Savaii.

The General Manager of National Health Services, Dr Stanley Dean, says this was a tragedy as the actions of staff were unacceptable.

The woman's husband had unsuccessfully pleaded for the hospital to perform a caesarean and Dr Dean says doctors could have been sent from Apia or the woman transferred to the capital for the operation.

The CEO of the Ministry of Health, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, says an investigation into the deaths is complete but she cannot yet release the outcome.

Meanwhile, Dr Dean says other improvements to health services include the installation of air conditioning at all public health pharmacies to ensure the quality of medications and medical supplies is maintained.

Dr Dean admits that there are not enough senior doctors to cover all district hospitals but senior district nurses have the ability to diagnose and treat common medical problems.