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Le Mamea Dr. Limbo Fiu is new president

The Samoa Association of General Practitioners (S.A.G.P.) has elected Le Mamea Dr. Limbo Fiu as their new president for 2019-2020.

Le Mamea replaces outgoing president of S.A.G.P. Motuopu'aa Dr Aisoli Vaai and the vote was done at their annual general meeting last month.

The new president is a specialist in cardiology and has been a physician at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital for more than 10 years, prior to him becoming the National University of Samoa School of Medicine dean until 2017.  

The newly elected vice president of S.A.G.P. is Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea who replaces vice president Leniu Dr. Asaua Faasino.

Secretary position is held by Tuala Dr. Tile Ah Leong, treasurer is Lauano Dr. Herbert Peters and executive member Leoo Dr. John Adams.

According to Leniu, one of the outcomes from their A.G.M. is that they fully support the primary health care sector comprising all doctors in the private sector.

He said there is a lot of potential and willingness to contribute to Samoa achieving Universal Health Coverage if the Government provides the support and resources needed.

“S.A.G.P. is willing to work with the Ministry of Health and in consultation with overseas counterparts to carry out a U.H.C. service needs assessment to help determine U.H.C. performance and outcome indicators to be achieved over the next five years.

“To coincide with the mid-term review of the new Health Sector Plan, identify specific activities and time frames for completion, plus costing and other resources needed to effectively implement these activities,” she said.

Dr. Faasino said that S.A.G.P. is looking into having a shared health information system for ease of access to all client health information.

“The purpose of this initiative is to enhance standardization of treatment protocols and guidelines, swift and transparent referral systems to specialists and tertiary care, as well as back to medical primary care specialists for continuity of care.

“The S.A.G.P. strongly believes that if Government via the M.O.H. recognises and maximizes the services of the private medical sector as a specialist group of primary care providers.

“One of the core sector partners within the health sector, then the people of Samoa would greatly benefit in terms of favorable national health outcomes, and ultimately the burden of illness to the Samoa health system reduces, the cost of healthcare to Government decreases and the cost of pain, heartache, and all sorts of financial risks to the family can significantly be removed,” she added.

She also said that S.A.G.P. believes that there are other ways that the private medical sector can assist in reducing the workload the public health facilities — if care, management and follow up of all the chronically ill patients; well-baby and well-child checks. 

“Sexual health care, screening, treatment and timely referral of many types of illnesses without obvious signs initially - if these are fully assigned to the private medical sector then it will be easier to achieve continuity of care, control of signs and symptoms.

“Prevention or delay in onset of complications, prompt management of acute exacerbation of symptoms, effecting behavior change or promoting healthy lifestyle habits, and have time to focus on more intensive patient education and counselling at one to one, groups, family and community levels. 

“SAGP is willing to explore a partnership arrangement with government to effect this going forward.”

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