Samoa’s health minister commends hospital for high quality of service

QEH CEO, Dr. Dexter James (left), chatting with Leao Tuitama. In the background is PS Tennyson Springer.
QEH CEO, Dr. Dexter James (left), chatting with Leao Tuitama. In the background is PS Tennyson Springer.

Minister of Health of Samoa, Dr. Leao Tuitama has expressed amazement at the extent of health services being offered by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Tuitama offered this commendation today after he accompanied Minister of Health John Boyce and senior members of staff, on a tour of some of the departments of the hospital.

The Samoan minister acknowledged that his country had not reach that level of health care yet, and after hearing that the government was thinking of constructing a new hospital said in jest that he would be delighted if Boyce could shift the QEH to Samoa.

Tuitama recognised that managing a 600-bed hospital where 22,000 people passed through its doors each day and 20,000 visited the Lions Eye Care Centre for treatment was not an easy task.

Dr Trevor Drakes of the Lions’ Eye Clinic examines the eyes of Samoan Minister of Health, Leao Tuitama.
Dr Trevor Drakes of the Lions’ Eye Clinic examines the eyes of Samoan Minister of Health, Leao Tuitama.

Taking note of the extension being done to the Cardiovascular Department and the high quality of service being offered at the Eye Care Centre, the Samoan minister expressed regret that his country was unable to offer these quality services at this time because of a lack of expertise.

Tuitama, who is attending the SIDS conference in Barbados told members of the press that his government sent patients with eye complaints to New Zealand for treatment at a cost of $10 million a year.

Expressing admiration for the operations of the QEH, Tuitama who is a medical doctor, said: “This (QEH) is an eye opener for me. Discipline is very much in place and considering that the hospital was opened over 40 years ago, the cleanliness is amazing.”

In brief comments to the press, Boyce confirmed that several locations were being examined by a committee with a view to constructing a new hospital.

Commenting on the reduction of the transfer of funds to the QEH in the recent budget by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, Boyce said he would be meeting the members of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) to discuss the issue.

Today’s touring party, which included Chief Executive Officer of the QEH, Dr. Dexter James; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Tennyson Springer and Director of Medical Service, Dr. David Callender, visited such departments as the Paediatric Ward, The Paediactric Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Dialysis Unit, the Lions’ Eye Care Unit, the Stroke Ward (C10) and the Medical Intensive Care Unit which is undergoing refurbishment. (NC)

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