The ground breaking for a new hospital expected to serve the needs of over 50 thousand people living in the area, has taken place in Samoa this week.
Scheduled for completion in February 2019, the government has decided to rebuild Satupaitea District hospital.
About 50 years ago the hospital closed due to its vulnerable location to natural disasters including rising sea levels.
Health Minister Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama said decentralising crucial medical care to people in the rural and isolated areas remained a top priority for government.
He said the government is not deaf to calls for doctors to get out of their comfort zones and go out to the district hospitals to consult and treat patients.
Tuitama said the much touted merger between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Service would also address that issue.
Funding for the first phase of the Satupaitea District Hospital is being provided by the Government of Japan from a grant of close to US$120,000.