26 May 2010

Samoa health accounts improve dealing with disease

5:29 pm on 26 May 2010

A health official from Samoa says her country has been able to identify non-communicable diseases quickly with the help of national health accounts.

Latoya Lee is one of a number of health officials at a three-day conference in Nadi organised by the World Health Organisation and the Asian Development Bank.

The conference includes countries who've been publishing its health statistics for some time, like Samoa and Tonga, and those that have just signed up - like Fiji and Vanuatu.

Ms Lee, who is the principal policy analyst for Samoa's Health Ministry, says the accounts have helped the country get on top of its health issues.

"Samoa is facing epidemic level of NCDs and NH showed that. One of the reasons why are our inpatient curative and our overseas treatment expenditures were going up was because of heart disease and that."

Latoya Lee says having national health accounts has also encouraged Samoa to look at generating funds from the private sector, instead of just relying on government and donor countries.