24 Jan 2006

Failed strike forces career change to Samoan doctors' careers

4:51 pm on 24 January 2006

A Samoan lawyer says doctors in the public service have been forced to readjust their career paths.

The government has not changed its stance on the working conditions of doctors in the public service, after doctors went on an unsuccessful strike last year for better pay and working conditions.

The government had agreed to changes recommended in a commission of inquiry into the doctors demands, but demands for a higher starting salaries were rejected.

Lawyer Maiava Visekota Peteru, who had organised a protest march in support of the striking doctors, says the Samoa United Democratic Party has vowed to reinstate doctors and meet their demands if it wins the general election in March.

She says doctors have made different decisions given the government's stance.

"And as a result, some doctors have reapplied for positions, others have joined private practise, some have left the country, but otherwise there has been no change in the government's initial position."

Samoa lawyer Maiava Visekota Peteru.