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Pacific Games to impact on health services

The Pacific Games in July next year could strain Samoa’s national health and medical services, says Minister of Health Tutaima Dr. Leao Tuitama. 

He was responding to questions, on whether the Ministry of Health is prepared to cater for the 4000-plus athletes and officials, who will travel to Samoa next year for the region’s two-week sporting event.   

“Of course facilities are provided, but personnel are vital in the programme because games need medical assistance to oversee it,” he said. 

“Maybe 50 or more medical personnel’s in different categories are needed, but are funded by the sports programme.” 

And so far, Tutaima said there has been no programme sent to the Ministry to inform them on medical plans they need to adopt. 

“The Cabinet did not send a programme to inform us what plans were to take place. If a programme was sent, then we could have shared that there needs to be a medical team. But as you know there was nothing.”

He said it is the responsibility of the Pacific Games Organising Committee, to prepare a programme for the sports administration, to procure or insure a medical team to cover the Games. 

“Remember we cater for our own country and it is difficult when there is an added load on that,” Tuitama said. 

“The hospital always prepares. They stand by for everything, but what I am trying to say is that if there was no programme like this, then it would burden our own national services in terms of every day working.”

When asked if he was stating that the programme was delayed, Tuitama said he did not know and he couldn’t comment on the issue. 

“But it is a question in regards to health, six months is not long,” he added.

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