4 Mar 2010

Systemic failure not to blame for Samoa mother and baby deaths

11:13 am on 4 March 2010

The General Manager of Samoa's National Health Service says systemic failure is not to blame for the recent deaths of a mother and her unborn baby on the island of Savaii.

Dr Stanley Dean was responding to suggestions in the Samoa media that last month's double tragedy at Tuasivi Hospital resulted from systemic failures related to a lack of government funding.

The chief executive of the Ministry of Health, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, says an investigation into the deaths is complete but she can't release the outcome yet.

Dr Dean says the government is putting enough money into health.

"It's not a systemic problem, it just happened with a few individuals. The service is OK. We have procedures and we have people that you need to consult. But if you fail to consult another level of staff that is above you in that thing that's where an individual failure's concerned, but not the system."

Dr Stanley Dean says improvements to the health service such as ensuring all hospitals have essential medicines and that all pharmaceutical supplies are being stored at the correct temperature are complete.