30 Nov 2005

Samoa public doctors seeking private work after failed strike

2:14 pm on 30 November 2005

Former public service doctors in Samoa are firming up job offers from private hospitals.

The medical association secretary, Dr Navy Collins, says since he and his 22 colleagues resigned following an unsuccessful strike, two are set to work abroad and between eight and 10 are negotiating private jobs.

Dr Collins says another is setting up an independent clinic, and they've all been offering their expertise for free.

A source says the government is preparing to advertise positions to replace the former strikers.

Dr Collins - himself a former senior surgical registrar- says any new hires will face the same poor working conditions.

"Most times we run out of oxygen, we run out of drugs, of course there are some tools that are only available in small amounts and we need to postpone that operation before they are ready again."

Despite claims they're overstretched, the skeleton staff including Chinese and Indian doctors is said to be coping in the emergency ward at the public hospital in Apia.