We need a properly run hospital

Dear Editor,

I refer to your front-page article in the Samoa Observer titled “Shortages at National Hospital.”

Here we go again. It is not the first, neither the last time that the hospital users (all of Samoa) complain about how the hospital is run. Badly.

First the manager of the N.H.S. assures us that the $70.7m allocated to run the hospital is sufficient. My understanding is that sufficient means that it covers everything, emergencies, shortages, even acts of God.

Without batting an eye lid the manager tells us that a system of reshuffling personnel is the modus operandi to cover staff shortages. 

Meaning that not enough personnel are hired? In such a way that “doctors and nurses are reshuffled around and senior staff step in to assist as well.” 

That is bad work ethics. To let untrained personnel deal with life threatening surgeries for instance.

Ms. Moe Lei Sam has a point: not enough beds. 

A well-run hospital never should be short of beds. Not only that but also well paid doctors and nurses, with specific skills in certain areas of the body. 

General Practitioners are OK. Those 5m to cover overseas medical treatment, mostly for “fat cats’ should be diverted to bring top of the line doctors. 

To say that “ definitely an increasing number of sick people seeking health care services at the N.H.S.” is a blunt admission that the M.O.H. is not improving the health of our population. 

And the hospital is not prepared to handle that. Moreover she says: “ N.H.S. as the service provider in the health sector of Samoa is a priority service of government.” 

The general criterion of the people is that the government does not know what priority means. 

Priority means to put people before things- like building white elephants around town and displacing people (Siusega) to build more badly planned projects.

If the N.H.S. management have miscalculated its annual allocation-nothing unusual in this government, with excessive and inappropriate expenses-more clearly saying corrupt practices, N.H.S. did not raise its voice to get more tupe from the government that is wasting money with associate ministers salaries and paying people to hold H.R.R.P.’s power for the next millennium.

To say that “N.H.S. is like any other health care service provider in the world” is a very poor generalization; as she is not familiar how the best hospitals in the world are run: Walter Reed, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai Hospital, among others. 

Bad management closed the hospital at Vailima.

Moreover she says:” …everyday operations in a health care setting are unpredictable- the test of a good manager is to learn how to predict things to come and be ready for it- that is where a good planning and budgeting come into the picture “Emergencies happen” that is the name of the game for any hospital “Staff turnover is natural” turnovers exist in every business. 

If it is higher than predicted it is a reflection of bad hiring practices. 

A properly run hospital means longer years in paradise Samoa.



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