Health Ombudsman proposed
A Health Ombudsman should be set up to deal with complaints and grievances at the Ministry of Health.
This is what the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, told the Health Commission Inquiry hearing.
The Commission has been appointed by Cabinet to consider the proposed organisational structure for the re-merge of the National Health Services and Ministry of Health.
Chaired by prominent lawyer and former Attorney General, Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, the Inquiry started last week.
The Commission members include Professor Fui Asofou So’o and Fa’amausili Dr. Matagialofi Lu’aiufi.
The lawyers assisting the Commission are Sefo Junior Ainu’u, the Assistant Attorney General and Chief Public Solicitor, and Shalon Time, a State Solicitor.
Leausa informed the Commission members that the structure noted all the key positions and they still see the Health Ombudsman as the way forward.
“This is where grievance and public complaints can be filed and it will be under the office of the director general,” he said.
“I think the Ombudsman should be another main division or another statutory body of health and the good thing about it is to ensure the confidence that complaints of the public will get a way forward.”
Namulauulu Dr. M. Nuualofa of the Medical Association agreed with having a Health Ombudsman, however not under the Director General.
“I really believe that fairness and in the spirit of consensus and unity of purpose to assure the accountability we must have some form of board, many heads and hearts are better than one head.”
Taulapapa pointed that during her time with N.H.S., there were volatile issues that created havoc within the health administrations, and whether they have looked at some way to deal with those that do break into public fighting.