Top doctor resigns, Minister denies report

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i, 23 April 2019

A senior doctor at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital has resigned. 

The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, confirmed that the Director for the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.), Dr. Dina Tuitama, has resigned from her position.

But he denied reports that at least five other doctors have also resigned.

“So far only one doctor resigned," Tuitama said. "The management met today and we will meet again on Thursday to determine as to what are the problems that led to her resignation."

Dr. Dina Tuitama is the daughter of the Health Minister.

The Samoa Observer visited the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital (T.T.M.H.) at Motootua and was advised of a N.H.S. management meeting which concluded after three hours. 

The resignation of the I.C.U. Director was on the meeting agenda, the Minister confirmed.

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“She made her own decision to step down, and I have nothing to do with it. But my main concern is the service (as) after all she is the Director of the I.C.U.,” he added.

The Minister was asked about his relationship to the doctor who has resigned but he said he was not involved in any decisions relating to her work. 

“That’s why I did not interfere with the discussion of the matter," said Tuitama.
"Again my main concern is the service."

The Minister assured that the T.T.M.H. is not going through a doctor shortage crisis. 

“Not now, we are getting more doctors and we have contracted the private doctors, until such a time when the new doctors who have graduated from medical school, undergo and complete their training, then they will take over,” he said.

In relation to the merger of the Ministry of Health and National Health Services, he said he was happy with the progress and there are no issues being experienced. 

“I am happy with the merge so far. There are no major issues, just petty little things like relocation, whereas some employees refuse to leave their offices. It is not uncommon when it comes to new changes and these are just small issues,” he added.

He said there are employees who had resigned from their positions, but their reasons are personal and had nothing to do with the merger. 

“So far, the issues we have encountered have to do with shuffling around of the doctors to assure that all shifts are covered. We also have some issues with support services,” he said, but refused to pinpoint the issues he was referring to. 

 

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i, 23 April 2019

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