Commission of Inquiry looks into organizational structure of the Health merge


Samoa’s main hospital at the Ministry of Health headquarters at Moto’otua

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 11 MAY 2018: A three member Commission of Inquiry has been appointed to look into the proposed organizational structure of the merger between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services, which was recently signed into effect by the Head of State.

The Commission members are Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, as Chair, Professor Fui Le’apai Tu’ua Ilaoa Asofou So’o and Fa’amausili Dr. Matagialofi Lu’aiufi. Counsel assisting the Commission are Sefo Junior Ainu’u, the Assistant Attorney General and Chief Public Solicitor, and Shalon Time,State Solicitor.

The Commission is required to:

* Review the proposed structure for the new merged health agency which has been proposed by a high level taskforce;

* Consider the concerns about the structure raised by nurses employed in the NHS;

* Recommend options for the proposed new structure after consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

The Commission commences its hearings on Tuesday 15 May 2018 at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and organizations or members of the public who wish to make a submission can do so by contacting the Counsel Assisting.

The Commission has already invited participation from the Ministry of Health, National Health Services, Public Service Commission, Health Merger Task force, NHS Nurses, Samoa Nurses Association, Allied Health Workers, and the Samoa Medical Association.

Written submissions can made at allocated times and dates for interested organizations and individuals.

An Inquiry Practice Note has been issued by the Commission, and will set out the procedure to be adopted in addition to the relevant provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act 1964 and is available from Counsel Assisting.

Taulapapa Brenda is a former Attorney General of Samoa and is currently a partner of Latu Lawyers. Professor Fui Dr. Asofou So’o is the Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa and Fa’amausili Dr. Matagialofi Lua’iufi is a former CEO of the Public Service Commission and is now an International Consultant and also sits on the Board of Bank South Pacific (PNG).

“The Commission members are honoured to serve the public as members of this Commission, and to review the proposals which have been made, as well as the suggestions proposed by nurses to improve the final structure for the merger,” said The Chair, Taulapapa Brenda Latu.

“We consider that the input of those who work in the sector, as well as those who use the services of the sector, are important in determining the best framework for public health where the welfare and care of the patient is at the heart of our decision making, and we utilize the resources we have available in an effective and efficient manner.”

The Commission will undertake the hearings and consultations beginning next week and expects to present its report shortly after.

Cabinet is targeting the merge to be effective in July.

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