Deaths force govt. to reconsider

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Prime Minister: Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Prime Minister: Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. (Photo: Samoa Observer / File)

The death of two seasonal workers in New Zealand and Australia has forced the government to re-evaluate the requirements for people seeking work as part of the employment schemes.

This was confirmed by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who said applicants would now need a full medical check up report for their applications to be considered.

The government will also take a lot more care to ensure the workers are fit and strong for the type of work they are going to do.

Earlier this month, a 45-year-old Samoan seasonal worker died during a rugby match in New Zealand. Preliminary reports say that his death is from a heart attack. 

Tuilaepa said the second seasonal worker died in Australia last week.

A heart condition is also suspected.

The Prime Minister said the man was dancing and then he fell.

The audience assumed that it was part of the show but it wasn’t.

The Prime Minister did not go into details as where this man is from or who he is. 

But he said the incidents have led to the government re-evaluating the requirements for the applicants.

The body of the man who died in New Zealand was flown back and was escorted by Samoa’s Consul in New Zealand Faletoi Reupena all the way to Lano, Savai’i. The same process will be conducted for the second seasonal worker who died in Australia. 

In the meantime, Tuilaepa said what occurred has the government looking at the importance of reassessing ways in selecting people to work in the R.S.E scheme.

He said the rationale behind it is that those who are chosen for this opportunity are physically fit for the job. 

The Prime Minister further stated this will not only benefit the workers but also the businesses they will be working for, its not acceptable for anyone who just started working and then suddenly dies. 

It was put to the Prime Minister that there are people who will withhold the information of their medical background and Tuilaepa said there is always a problem when it comes to money. 

He pointed out that despite honesty and good intentions, when there’s money involved people often become deceitful. 

The Prime Minister said the applicants should undergo x-ray scans to reveal potential medical issues. 

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