Former A.G. to chair Health merger Inquiry

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Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu.

Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu.

Cabinet has appointed a Commission of Inquiry to consider the proposed organizational structure of the merger between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services.

The decision was confirmed in a statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General yesterday.

Prominent lawyer and former Attorney General, Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, has been appointed as Chair.

Commission Members include Professor Fui Asofou So’o and Fa’amausili Dr Matagialofi Lu’aiufi. The lawyers assisting the Commission are Sefo Junior Ainu’u, the Assistant Attorney General and Chief Public Solicitor, and Shalon Time, a State Solicitor.

 “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,” Taulapapa is quoted as saying in the statement. 

“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.

“We will undertake the hearings and consultations beginning next week, and we expect to present our report shortly after.”

The Commission’s Terms of Reference require the Commission to:

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

Professor Fui Asofou So’o.
Professor Fui Asofou So’o.

• Consider the concerns about the structure raised by nurses employed in the N.H.S;

• 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 are invited to contact Counsel Assisting : Sefo Ainu’u at the Office of the Attorney General: Phone 20295 or by email sefo.ainuu@ag.gov.ws or shalon.time@ag.gov.ws

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 are required to be filed 24 hours before submissions are made, and times and dates will be allocated for interested organizations and individuals. 

An inquiry Practice Note has been issued by the Commission, and will set out the procedure to be adopted by the Commission, 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 is the Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa and Fa’amausili Dr Matagialofi Lua’iufi is a former C.E..O of the Public Service Commission and is now an International Consultant and also sits on the Board of Bank South Pacific (P.N.G.)

© Samoa Observer 2016

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