26 Jun 2003

Samoan nurses seek 50% pay rise

10:35 am on 26 June 2003

The Samoa Registered Nurses Association is calling for a pay rise of 50 percent and that graduate nurses be bonded to work in the country for two years.

It's president, Fa'amanatu Neilsen says the proposals will solve the shortage of nurses in the country.

Reports from Samoa say that there are 197 nurses this year compared to 320 last year.

She says nurses are quitting because of low salaries and for other reasons such as family.

The starting salary is over 4-thousand US dollars a year and nurses have not had a payrise since 1999.

Mrs Neilsen says nurses want an increase of up to 50 percent and better working conditions.

".We're dealing with burnout, but we try our best to let the government see the value of the contribution of nurses to the healthcare of the country. So if the economics is alright then we ask 50% and that will keep nurses in the country for two years to serve."

Fa'amanatu Neilsen says there are 121 full time registered nurses and 8 part time nurses working in the main hospital which has 186 beds.