16 Nov 2005

Samoa doctors defy PM's warning over dismissal

2:55 pm on 16 November 2005

Samoa's assistant CEO of the clinical health service, Dr Stanley Dean, says none of the striking doctors has returned to work today.

This follows an ultimatum by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, for the doctors to return to work by 4.30 today or face dismissal.

Public hospital doctors have been on strike for the two months to get better starting salaries.

Tuilaepa says striking doctors will have to leave their government houses within the next seven days and that they will not be allowed to leave the country.

But Mr Dean says despite the warning, he has not heard of any doctor who is willing to return until the given deadline.

"Well, so far, it's 12, midday, and we haven't heard of any other doctor that is coming , still defying the prime minister."

He says he believes the government is going to seek help from the United Nations.