18 Nov 2005

New Zealand says no approach from Samoa for 500 medical referrals

4:42 pm on 18 November 2005

New Zealand's government says it has received no official request from the Samoan government to treat hundreds of seriously ill Samoans amid a staffing problem in Samoa.

This comes after the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, said his government intended to send more than 500 serious cases to New Zealand for treatment, after all the striking public doctors resigned.

A New Zealand government spokesman says the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are making inquiries, but so far the Samoan government has not requested for more than the usual number of people to be treated.