Medical specialists from India bound for Samoa
Samoa is tapping into the resources of the largest hospital group in Asia to improve health care and medical treatment services for local residents.
A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed in Apia recently between the Government of Samoa and the Apollo Group from India.
Established in 1983, the Apollo Group has risen to become the largest hospital group in Asia, with 71 hospitals in India alone boasting a 10,000 bed count.
The Group is not only present in hospital facilities, but also run multiple pharmacies, primary care and diagnostic clinics, medical colleges and a research foundation.
And the first spin-offs from the M.O.U. will see a team of specialists from the Group heading to Moto’otua to provide new surgery procedures which have never been performed at the National Hospital.
A recognisance team has just returned to India after scoping the resources available in preparations for the upcoming goodwill mission.
And Health Minister, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, has high expectations noting that if pieces of the puzzle come together, it will greatly benefit the health sector and local medical practitioners but “most importantly the people of Samoa.”
“On top of referring Samoan patients to the Apollo Hospitals, the partnership primarily will see medical specialists from India sharing their know-how and expertise in the health care service with their local counterparts.”
“They are also looking to the next level on how they can help in building capacity and training local doctors, surgeons and technicians.”
“As we all know, the Government’s vision is to build the capacity of our health system which will encourage a self-sustainable healthcare for the people of Samoa.”
Dr. Tuitama also acknowledged that the Apollo Group will be second Hospital Group to accept patients from Samoa under the Overseas Medical Treatment Scheme.
The other hospital is the Fortis chain of hospitals which also operates in Singapore, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Australia and Hong Kong with an annual turnover of $US6.4 billion.
“The Apollo Group also supports the concept of maintaining a continuum of care,” added the Health Minister.
“They are not looking at coming in as a one-off facility for treatment, but at patients getting ‘seamless’ care after their return to Samoa. This will be done with the doctors here who will keep in touch with the doctors in India to track the development of the patient’s disease and the prognosis.”
In the last 10 years, the Apollo Group has also worked extensively with Developing countries in the African continent, the Middle East and Asia, sharing know-how and offering fellowship opportunities for local healthcare service providers.