Angry mother criticises immunisation fee

A mother has criticised the Ministry of Health’s decision to charge parents for each of their child’s immunisation record, in order to get their children enrolled in the 2020 academic year.

Moe Lei Sam said she was infuriated when she read the editorial in the Samoa Observer questioning the $40 fee, which some of the Ministry’s staff say parents should pay in order to access their children’s immunisation record.

“I was very angry and mad when I saw on the Editorial section about this $40.00 immunisation fee,” she said.

“I will not pay any $40 tala just for my kids to go to school. I mean as far as I’m concerned the $40 tala is a no no for me.”

Ms. Lei Sam said she would refuse to pay the fee as she believes a child’s vaccination record should be free, considering the assistance and donations that other nations have given to Samoa, in response to the measles outbreak. 

“Whether we are rich or poor, $40 tala is still expensive, not all of us can afford $40 tala,” she added, and warned that the fee could discourage parents from sending their children to school.

“Imagine a family that has six children and they have to pay $40 tala for each kid and just to have a lousy piece of paper.”

The imposition of the $40 fee will also impact adversely on families that lost children in the measles epidemic, according to Ms. Lei Sam.

“Why do we have to pay for such fees and such amount, where did all the money from our families and friends from overseas go?”

Ms. Lei Sam said in the aftermath of the epidemic, the Ministry and the Government are adding to the burden that ordinary citizens will have to carry with the new fees. 

The Government's Press Secretariat last night said the Ministry of Health had removed the $40 tala fee.

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