1 Oct 2002

Political pressure on doctors in Samoa

6:41 pm on 1 October 2002

Medical practitioners in Samoa are concerned about the level of political pressure placed on doctors who recommend patients for specialised treatment overseas.

"Dr Viopapa (vee oh papa) Annandale from the General Practitioners Association says doctors are pressured by government authorities to send people connected to them and who can be treated in Samoa to countries such as New Zealand."

Dr Annandale says government funds used to pay for these patients should be used to improve the public health system and retain junior doctors who are leaving the country for better job opportunities.

She alleges that some government officials are abusing the medical scheme which states that patients needing critical or specialised treatment should be sent overseas.


Guidelines for determining who goes needs to be adhered to at all times. The health care providers are being forced into making decisions about that perhaps could be treated in Samoa but because of who they are they get sent away. You can't alway insist on these rules when there are people in high places involved.

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Dr Viopapa Annandale in Samoa