Ministry of Health clarifies India patients plan

Dear Editor,

I would like to take the opportunity to write and clarify issues that were part of your Letter to the Editor of Thursday 23 March 2017.

The expansion of the Overseas Medical Treatment to India is part of the Government’s plan to look at other Alternative Services, or options for Overseas Treatment.  

The expansion of Overseas Treatment to India still follows the arrangements and processes for the current Overseas Treatment Scheme policies that allows for patients to be treated in New Zealand.  Patients are being treated at Fortis Hospitals, the #2 most technologically advanced hospital in the world ahead of Johns Hopkins in the United States of America.

The plan still remains for New Zealand.  We have not ruled out the opportunity for patients to be treated in New Zealand.  

However, the two patients now in India were not approved by New Zealand for treatment, meaning they both could not be treated in New Zealand.  Patients that are referred to Fortis Hospital are not classified nor are they assessed for eligibility for treatment.  The Government of Samoa makes that call.  

The patients referred to India are transported directly to Fortis Hospital from the airport, and their assessment and treatment begin straight away.  There is no waiting time, unlike New Zealand where patients have to wait weeks or a month before surgeries.  

After care for all patients are included in the hospital fees, where patients are monitored at the hospital before being allowed to return to Samoa.  The patients and their companions are accommodated in a hotel within the vicinity of Fortis Hospital.

The agreement with Fortis Hospital also includes Indian Doctors and Specialists travelling to Samoa to conduct surgeries together with our local Doctors.  This plan will materialize when the processes are well established.


Thank you


Leausa Toleafoa Dr. Take Naseri



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