27 Mar 2017

Samoa sending medical patients to India instead of NZ

6:23 am on 27 March 2017

Samoa has begun sending patients needing medical treatment overseas to India instead of New Zealand to save money.

It comes as India was also offering to send doctors to Samoa to undertake surgeries and provide additional skills training for Samoa medical personnel.

The first two patients, one for heart surgery and the other with a liver condition, were sent earlier this month.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said the Prime Minister Tu'ilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, made the announcement two weeks ago, saying it costs the country a fortune to send people overseas.

"He said it is a lot cheaper. It is a lot cheaper to take our patients for medical referral overseas to India instead of New Zealand and he said 20 million Tala, around $US10 million dollars, the government is spending every year now, sending patients to New Zealand for operations and ot her medical treatments."

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia