A special committee has been approved by Cabinet to prepare an agreement for the abandoned Samoa Land Corporation headquarters at Tuanaimato that will house the Hope 4 Cancer clinic.
This was confirmed by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell on Thursday.
During an interview with the Observer, Lautafi said the agreement will outline the terms of the lease.
“Every detail of the lease will be in the agreement,” he explained.
“They (Hope 4 Cancer) are keen to get here but before that, the agreements (needs to be arranged) and signed.”
Plans by the government to turn the $4.5million headquarter into a hotel in the past years hit many hurdles and finally the plan was set aside.
But hopes were re-ignited for the abandoned headquarters this year when a number of officials from the Hope 4 Cancer Institute in Mexico came to Samoa.
The Medical Director of the Hope 4 Cancer Institute in Mexico, Dr. Antonio Jimenez met with the Minister of Health and local officials about the plans in June this year. The Director assured that their mission will to establish the centre will attract medical tourism.
The Minister of Public Enterprises was also asked whether the government has done its due diligence checks on the foreigners. In response, Lautafi said the contact person for the mission is the office of the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. However, he pointed out that such initiatives are not new.
“They want to come here because it is central for New Zealand and Australia,” said the Minister.
“It’s closer for patients rather than going all the way to America. They have similar clinics in Mexico and some of them are Mexican.”
According to Lautafi the project will open up new thinking for our people to explore natural therapy.
“It could open up medical tourism,” he said.
“Patients who come here to get treatment are not poor people. They may stay here for six months and will spend quite some money in our country.”