21 May 2018

Health Ombudsman proposed for Samoa

10:53 am on 21 May 2018

A Health Ombudsman has been proposed as part of the new Samoan Ministry of Health which will merge the current ministry and the short-lived National Health Services.

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Photo: 123rf

According to Talamua Online, the idea of a health ombudsman was presented to the Commission of Enquiry into the new merger structure given by Director

General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri.

The proposed Ombudsman would deal with legal services, handling public complaints and grievances, and conduct internal audits.

But the proposal has been met with some opposition.

Assistant Chief Executive of Health, Professor Pelenatete Stowers pointed out the Ombudsman should be an independent body set up as a tribunal.

Commission member Fa'amausili Dr Matagialofi Luaiufi said the fact that no Advisory Board or any form of Board was mentioned in the structure, was also an important consideration.

In 2006, the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services were established as two separate entities in the drive for a more efficient and accountable health service but it is for that same reason that the new merger is being implemented.

The commission is expected to wind up their work today and report to Cabinet next week.

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