What if priorities could be adjusted for the people?

By The Editorial Board 08 July 2024, 10:00AM

Imagine if the priorities of the government could be adjusted using a screwdriver or a spanner. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? But it is not that simple.

Right about now, the number one priority for the government is hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, it is not fixing the hospital, it is not getting enough teachers in schools, it is not getting children off the streets, it is not getting disabled children the right to education, it is not improving agriculture, it is not decreasing the food import bill, it is not renewable energy or bringing internet costs down.

It is not being accountable and transparent with the district development grant or holding members of parliament accountable for allegedly misusing public funds, and it is not taking to task cabinet ministers who utter unsubstantiated nonsense in overseas media.

The major priority is hosting CHOGM, an event that will come only once and perhaps have a one-off impact on the economy. Yet, we have had $40 million invested in it over the last two years. We will close off schools and use teachers for logistical work, while we cannot get enough teachers in classrooms across the country.

We will get extra generators so the power supply is not disrupted yet we cannot get a power supply source that is renewable and costs far less. We will get extra tanks for the water supply but we cannot guarantee clean water for a majority of the population.

Then we are getting a special ward dedicated to treating visitors for the October event while we cannot guarantee enough nurses and doctors in the hospitals. The big hospital is in a sorry state, yet instead of fixing it, money will be used elsewhere.

In about a year and a half, the nation will be back to the polls. It will be then when a stock-take would be done on what were the achievements of this government in the last five years. CHOGM will be mentioned but what would not be mentioned is the areas that were neglected.

The health system is a priority and not to be neglected. We need good hospitals where patient care is not in jeopardy and it also makes a safe working environment for medical professionals. Why are we even having a special CHOGM ward? If the facilities are good enough for the people of Samoa to be treated, it should be good enough for anyone else.

We need an immediate change in the health system and it starts with good hospitals and followed by right staffing and then better pay for all medical staff. Hospitals are the reflections of how good a nation is.

Hospitals need to be clean and sanitary. It should be the last place patients get infections because it is where people come to get treatment for their ailing conditions.

Maintaining a hospital goes far beyond the realm of cleanliness and repairs—it plays a critical role in ensuring the safety, efficiency, and well-being of patients, healthcare professionals, and the entire healthcare ecosystem.

Hospital maintenance is essential for safeguarding patient safety. Regular inspections, equipment checks, and maintenance protocols help identify and address potential hazards, ensuring that medical facilities operate in compliance with safety standards. From electrical systems to plumbing, medical systems to medical equipment, proper maintenance minimises risks and creates a secure environment for patients.

Efficient hospital maintenance contributes to the smooth functioning of medical facilities.

Hospital-acquired infections pose a significant threat to patient health. Effective maintenance practices, including regular cleaning, sterilisation of equipment, and proper ventilation systems, play a crucial role in preventing the spread of infections.

Proactive maintenance can result in cost savings for hospitals in the long run. By identifying and addressing maintenance issues early on, facilities can prevent expensive repairs, extend the lifespan of equipment, and reduce energy consumption. Efficient maintenance practices contribute to financial sustainability, allowing healthcare institutions to allocate resources to patient care and other critical areas.

A well-maintained hospital is not only important for patients but for the staff who work there too. The government has a very big responsibility. They need to change the way they have treated the maintenance of hospitals.

The condition of the nation’s health system reflects the condition of the nation.

By The Editorial Board 08 July 2024, 10:00AM
Samoa Observer

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