24 Jun 2011

Samoa health minister resists using the word sex in parliament

7:04 am on 24 June 2011

A Samoa cabinet minister appears to be struggling to get behind the Prime Minister's campaign for doctors to refer to illness in plain language.

In parliament on Wednesday the Minister of Health Tuitama Talalelei Tuitama referred to sex as the duty of a male and a female.

When Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi asked Tuitama, who is also a doctor, to explain what he meant the minister would only add that some non-communicable illnesses prevent or make it harder for the coconut tree to fruit.

The comments came during a parliamentary debate on higher taxes on beer, soft drinks and cigarettes and the diseases they cause.

Earlier this year the Prime Minister urged doctors to help their patients understand their illnesses by speaking in plain language.