Political party pledges for health sector
A proposed hospital at Salelologa Savai’i and the establishment of medical insurance are amongst health sector priorities outlined by three main political parties.
These priorities are highlighted by the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.), Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) and Tautua Samoa Party as key policies for 2021-2026.
Weeks out from the election, the H.R.P.P. and F.A.S.T. announced plans in their respective manifestos for a new hospital, centralised at Salelologa.
On top of a new hospital in Salelologa, H.R.P.P. has also promised a new airlift service using a helicopter and aircraft to transport patients between islands, and abroad for specialist treatment.
They are also looking to establish a Referral Health Centre for critical patients who are awaiting transfer overseas for treatment.
The 42-year-old party also plan to expand the Faleolo Hospital with funds already being appropriated for the project.
In light of the measles epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, the ruling party has already planned the construction of a negative pressure isolation unit, funded by Japan.
On the other hand, F.A.S.T. is promoting an improved health service “that all persons receive regular quality healthcare services”.
The new party said it will provide $20 million to strengthen primary healthcare programmes per year, for five years that it sits in Government.
F.A.S.T. has also vowed to establish a medical insurance scheme so that all people can access necessary medical care supported by the Accident Compensation Corporation and the National Provident Fund.
The Tautua Party was the first party to launch a manifesto. They announced the establishment of a National Welfare Fund and a Medicare and Health Insurance policy.
According to Tautua the national welfare fund and medical insurance will pay for the doctors and pharmaceutical supplies.
The party argues that this will give patients a free choice, to choose whether to go to the national hospital or a private doctor for their checkup.
A pay raise for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers is also on Tautua Samoa’s agenda.
With the national hospital mortuary backlog due to the unavailability of a forensic pathologist, the former opposition party will be focusing on a specialist pathologist to deal with the cases.