Reciting the doctors oath at the AGM
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 31 MAY 2018: The Samoa Medical Association is in support of human body organ transplants as encouraged by a kidney specialist from Apollo Hospitals in India, during their visit to Samoa last week. This was expressed in yesterday’s annual general meeting of the Association that was opened by the Minister of Health, Leao Dr. Talalelei Tuitama.
The Minister, who is a medical doctor said the government was concerned over the increasing number of dialysis patients at the National Kidney Foundation and donating a kidney for transplants was a better option.
“There are more than 100 patients being treated at the National Kidney Foundation, if the number of patient’s doubles then the Ministry will face another dilemma.”
Dr. Tuitama added the Ministry cannot accommodate 200 patients with the available dialysis machines at the Kidney Foundation.
The cost of each machine per patient is about $1000 talā and the patient pays only $10 tala. “It is very expensive for the government, it does not cost for your relative to donate a kidney for your loved ones.”
Tuitama agreed that donating a kidney is not a popular option in Samoa but said it is a very healthy option than being stuck on a (dialysis) machine 12 hours a day.
Doctors get $2 million tala for salary adjustments and unpaid long service leave
The Samoa Medical Association 71st Annual General Meeting had better news, when the Minister announced that Cabinet had approved to pay out overdue long service leave as well as back pay for some doctors who were not included in the salary increment passed by the Salary Tribunal implemented four years ago.
“There’s $1.5million talā allocated for unpaid long service leave for some doctors, and I must say, some doctors have more than 30 years of overdue long service leave,” said the Minister.
He blamed previous health management for these discrepancies.
“What happened was, some doctors received much higher salary pay rise than what it should be, and some doctors did not get any at all, I don’t know what kind of the system they were using, but it was very poor.”
Tuitama said, the doctors who were left out then wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. A task force was set up to investigate and report to the Salaries Tribunal.
“The Tribunal consisted of the Attorney General, Public Service Commission and Finance and they found out the discrepancies that existed, and reported to the Cabinet.”
The Tribunal recommended to approve and pay out what is owed the doctors. The good news was received a loud applause from the doctors.
Scientific Conference Opens
The Samoa Medical association Annual General Meeting coincide with the opening of the Scientific Conference on the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Everywhere Health for All”.
Issues to discussed range from the Global and Regional Perspective to Community Perspective in Primary Health Care Services and Innovations in General Practice.