Ministry doing best to address coronial cases: Leausa

The Ministry of Health is doing its best to find a forensic pathologist who can travel to Samoa to conduct autopsies on coronial cases that are "piling up".

That is the assurance from the Director-General of the Ministry of Health [MOH], Leausa Dr. Take Naseri.

"We are waiting for coroners," Leausa said. 

 "Work has been done so we can get someone and if we find someone, they qualify under essential workers. 

"Most of the pathologists that we bring in, they are forensic pathologist, a specialist area of pathologists. 

"Back then we used to do our own autopsy, we had general pathologists. 

"Now, because the law changed in the last eight years, that says a forensic pathologist should do the autopsy, therefore we need to find a forensic pathologist from either New Zealand or Australia. 

"But right now, no one wants to come because of the global pandemic."

He also confirmed that work had been done to try and get a pathologist, prior to the death of a Falelatai man who came out of quarantine two weeks ago upon returning home.   

"We did not just start looking because of that case," Leausa added.

"We have been working on that because we have cases piling up."

However, Leausa said it's hard to get someone as the pandemic is affecting the whole world including neighbouring countries, New Zealand and Australia. 

"It's not easy. Just because we really need a forensic pathologist, does not mean the pathologist will have to skip the process, and that he or she will not have COVID. 

"He or she will need to go through the same process, get tested, quarantined for two weeks to make sure that they have not contracted the virus. 

"Those are all the things we need to look at."

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