The closed MedCen Hospital at Vailima will re-open as a specialist referral hospital, and regional hub for specialised medical treatment, through a partnership agreement with two private hospitals in India.
The intention was confirmed and made known by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi who says the intention is to take full advantage of opportunities while Indian specialist doctors are on island.
The Prime Minister says the idea is to have medical specialists from the Indian hospitals of Apollo and Fortes reside in Samoa and provide the latest medical treatment available to our residents.
“It reflects and reaffirms the government’s priority to seek and secure all possible specialised medical treatment which is not available on island for our people,” said Tuilaepa.
“For cost effective purposes, part of the partnership will also see medical specialists from India based in Samoa to upskill our medical practitioners. At the same time, the specialists from New Delhi will perform surgery on-island and share their valuable hands-on experience with our local doctors”.
“Having said that, one of the components in our partnership is for Samoa to be used as a regional hub for specialised medical treatment which is also not available in our neighbouring islands such as Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Tonga to name a few.
“The thinking now is that while the doctors from India are on island, patients from our neighbours can also come to Samoa for treatment. That without a doubt will reflect huge savings in terms of airfares and related expenses for the patient and their families.”
On average, Government spends between $10 to $15 million tala a year to send citizens overseas for specialised treatment, mostly in New Zealand.
The next phase for the MedCen Specialists Referral Hospital is a cost effective partnership explored by Government to ensure that specialised treatment is available for local residents and our Pacific neighbours.