17 May 2003

New Zealand district health board negotiates with Samoa over dialysis treatment

9:39 am on 17 May 2003

The Auckland District Health Board is negotiating with the Samoan government about the treatment of Samoans suffering kidney disease.

It is also discussing the training of a Samoan doctor and two nurses to try to reduce kidney disease and the need for expensive dialysis treatment.

The cost of treating Pacific Island kidney patients and its impact on resources for New Zealanders has been highlighted by the case of a Tuvaluan overstayer who was granted a reprieve and allowed to receive dialysis.

The board's chief operating officer, Marek Stephniack, says the Samoan government has been paying for treatment in Auckland and will pay for the training under a contract being finalised with the board and the Ministry of Health.

"T he intention is to use Auckland and Auckland District Health Board as a place where they can access specialised care but for the capacity to be able to provide dialysis to be developed and established well in Samoa."

Marek Stephniack of the Auckland District Health Board.