Govt. priorities slammed

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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Businesswoman, Moe Lei Sam.

Businesswoman, Moe Lei Sam.

A few days at the hospital was more than enough time for Moe Lei Sam to know that there is something terribly wrong with how the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital is being run. 

The businesswoman was admitted to the hospital for three nights after an asthma attack last week. 

Unhappy with the lack of resources to aid patients and saddened with the staff being overworked, Ms. Lei Sam is speaking out about her concerns, questioning government’s priorities. 

She explained that on Monday last week when she was at the hospital, an elderly man was brought in. 

When the elderly man was brought in, the nurses couldn’t find him a bed. They had to do his check-up on a chair.

“He was crouching on the chair in so much pain,” Ms. Lei Sam told the Samoa Observer. 

“On the other hand there were only three nurses working and one doctor was on duty. I could not believe how it was run and it made me so angry.”

According to the mother, she offered to give her bed up for the elderly man but the doctor told her she needed it.

Ms. Lei Sam said the government needs to prioritise the lives of the people of Samoa and divert funds to buy more beds and help doctors and nurses. 

“What I want to say is why is the government allowing aid worth $20million tala to go to maintain the Sports Facility when it should be put aside for our health sector,” she asked. 

“We don’t even have beds for patients to lie on yet there is so much money going towards facilities that we rarely use and are not essential. Looking at the doctors and nurses they are overworked with not enough pay. This is the responsibility of the Minister in charge and I don’t see him doing anything about it.”

The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama was contacted for a comment. 

His secretary said the Minister was not available and to refer all questions to N.H.S.  Chief Executive Officer, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe. 

An email sent to the C.E.O. was not responded to by press time. 

 However, Ms. Lei Sam questioned who will be paying for the supposedly $20million aid to maintain the sports complex. 

“I asked myself this, are our unborn children going to pay for that money,” she asked. 

“Samoa needs to wake up and act. Our government and the Minister of Health need to visit the hospital and see for themselves what our people have to deal with everyday.”

The $20million aid that Ms. Lei Sam is referring to is a fund from China to assist the Samoa Sports Facility Authority in maintaining the Aquatic Center at Tuanaimato and for rehabilitation work at Apia Park. 

 Ms. Lei Sam said her frustration was not just for her but because of her concern about the people of Samoa. 

“I was so angry when I saw what was happening,” she said. 

“The government should prioritise the welfare of our country and give these millions to buy some beds, raise the pay for doctors and nurses. I could not believe it that it is making me sick if I don’t do something about it.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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