Medical student not charged

A medical student who had been performing circumcision operations without permission from the Ministry of Health has yet to be charged.

Instead, the Media Officer for the Ministry of Police, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu, said his behaviour has been referred back to the Samoa Medical Association and the Ministry of Health.

Su’a said the Police have completed their investigation and they have found that the student had not broken the law. What's more, no one had lodged a complaint against the student.

Su’a added that while the operations were done without permission from the Ministry of Health, no one had been injured in the process and no one has complained.

 “So the matter has been referred back to the Ministry for their decision,” said Su’a. “We feel that this is an internal matter they have to deal with.”

The Police spokesperson added that their investigation uncovered that a number of parents had approached the student, when they found out he could do it for a cheaper price. 

“He could have been charged. The charges would depend on the patients and if there was a complaint.

“The complaint would have to be based on the injuries caused during the operations but so far, we haven’t received any complaints.” 

The case is similar to a criminal matter involving a man from Safata who had performed similar operations on children in his district.

Su’a said the Court dismissed the matter because there were no complainants.

Two weeks ago, the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, confirmed that the student had offered to perform the operation at a “cheaper” rate of $70 per operation.

The Ministry found that the student had done eight operations.

Leausa said they had issued a warning to members of the public about a person who was promoting cheaper operations.

“The warning has been going around to let the public know not to accept this kind of treatment,” said Leausa.

 “So we are warning members of the public not to accept these kinds of cheap services because it can be very risky.

 “It would have been okay if there was a doctor that supervised him but there wasn’t.” 

Leausa also said that the public should’ve thought about this when this person offered them a cheap price. They did not.

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