11 Apr 2011

Samoa PM calls for frank language from doctors

1:39 pm on 11 April 2011

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has urged doctors to tell patients about their illness in direct language.

Opening a medical conference, he told delegates that speaking to patients in a circular fashion left them without an understanding of their problem.

A past president of the Samoa Medical Association, Leituala Taimalie Dr Ben Matalavea, issued a note of caution.

He said Samoa was a country where people take notice of words and direct language might lead a patient to think the doctor was being disrespectful.

In backing his call, the Prime Minister recapped events leading up to Cyclone Ofa, when the English warning was translated directly into twirling winds and people were unsure if a cyclone was approaching.