Home Institution

University of Colorado at Boulder

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Islands Studies


The objective of this research was to look at the current issues in healthcare in present day Samoa. The research was conducted over a four week period, two of which were spent observing and interviewing in the public hospital, Tupua Tamasese Meaole, and in the private hospital, MedCen. This research was conducted to look at issues such as cleanliness of facilities, the shortage of supplies and technology in the hospitals, the demand for higher salaries made by the doctors, and the reasons for the trend towards the privatization of medicine. Also researched, was the role of the government in terms of healthcare and what the future plans are to help resolve some of these issues. While finding that the recent doctors’ strike played a large role in making these issues known to the public, the government has done little to remedy any of them. The long hours and low wages the doctors have to endure have caused a severe shortage of doctors at TTM. Although, the working and patient conditions at the public hospital were found to be undesirable, the majority of the Samoan population cannot afford private care leaving them with no other option but the public hospital. Unless the Samoan government realizes that hiring overseas doctors rather then paying local doctors what they deserve is not the answer, the public healthcare system will be unable to meet the needs of the growing population.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health


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