Apia, Samoa, June 2, 2017
New Zealand is provide $6.1million towards expanding specialist health services and addressing non-communicable diseases in Samoa.
Bill English, who is currently in the South Pacific country on his first official visit as Prime Minister made the announcement this morning at the Tupua Tamasese National Hospital.
He said that the funding, to be spread over five years.
The assistance will build on the strengths of the existing partnership between Counties Manukau Health and Samoa’s National Health Service, and will improve both access to and the quality of health services for local communities.
While at the hospital, Mr English met with patients and staff, and had an opportunity to see first-hand how New Zealand’s investments in infrastructure and support of the national health system are benefitting the people of Samoa.
New Medical Programme
The new programme includes more support for telemedicine, funding for the specialist treatment of Samoan patients in New Zealand hospitals, and support to address non-communicable diseases, and reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health.
Mr English that the general medical condition of the Samoan population is improving.
“Life expectancy has increased and is the highest in the Pacific. Infant and child mortality rates are also low relative to other countries with similar incomes and per capita health spending,” he said.
But he admitted that serious challenges remained. This includes death and disability caused by chronic and non-communicable diseases.
“Samoa is making impressive strides in areas such as maternal and child health, but we can provide more help by supporting the Samoan system to deliver quality and equitable health services,” MR English said.