Future of health services in Samoa on agenda

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama.

Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama. (Photo: File)

The National Health Service’s third and final annual symposium concluded on Friday at the N.H.S. conference room.

With the theme “The End of the N.H.S. Era and Continuation of the legacy in Service Provision”, the objective of the symposium was to ensure that service provision priorities were kept high in the health agenda of the new entity.

It is also to highlight the achievements during the N.H.S. era.

Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama said the re-merge of the two divisions would not affect the delivery of health services to the people.

“I encourage all of you to continue the excellent work and to ensure that people’s health is not compromised,” he said during his speech.

“The challenge for the staff of the N.H.S. who will continue to work under the new regime is the ability to articulate work in partnership with the community.

“Along this vein, the focus for the next decade is on enhancing and sustaining primary care and primary health care services.

“In saying that, the adage that immediately comes to mind is ‘protection is better than cure’.

Tuitama said there were steps taken to match the expectations and to further enhance the services provided.

“Firstly, the separation of the Emergency Department and the Acute Primary Care Clinic so that the functions and services are well define,” he said.

“Secondly, the N.H.S support rendered to professional and technical staff that were fortunate to secure training opportunities to acquire either undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in the different clinical areas as well as technical fields.

“Thirdly, the implementation of the electronic immunization registry and the inclusion of the community in primary health care programs to ensure that there is a healthy Samoa.”

Ministry of Health’s Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said the symposium was to acknowledge the N.H.S. employees and to discuss matters relating to re-merging of the two divisions.

“Some people feel that this is the end for the National Health Services but we just want to clarify this is not the end of the N.H.S. service,” he said.

“But rather it is the continuation of service because the government feels that there is a need to lift the service provided to another level and to be more sensitive to people’s need and the standard of the level of care to help the people and to enforce the involvement of the community and good public health system.

“And at the same time we acknowledge all the employees of both divisions from the drivers all the way to the management and those long service employees.

“So there is nothing to worry about, N.H.S. is not coming to an end, but it is rather lifting up the service to another level.

“The service is still continuing but with the hope that it is going to be better and be more sensitive not only to the needs of the patients, but also to the needs of the service.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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