The Government’s moves to merge the Ministry of Health and the National Health Service (N.H.S.) had an impact on the expanded program of immunisation (E.P.I.).
This was revealed in a three-day Commission of Inquiry which concluded on Wednesday.
When the inquiry Chair Tuiloma Neroni Slade asked whether the immunisation program will be affected by a proposed merger, N.H.S. General Manager Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe said the proposed merger did have an impact on the level of services provided by the two entities.
“It shouldn’t be in the future, in terms of the principles of the service and what it entails the merger should not in any way affected. However, for the time that we are talking about and the implementation of duties and responsibilities that are expected of staff, there has certainly been a degree of uncertainty in the sight and the minds of the staff because of it.”
Tuiloma added that he is also particularly interested in what laid ahead hence the question of any likely impact due to the merger, and asked the N.H.S. on the type of training that it put its staff through.
Palanitina, in response to the question, said the training provided by her organisation is not enough.
“The fact is, there is never enough trainings for any particular area of focus or area of expertise. The question that I considered as General Manager of the N.H.S. that is accurate for the immunization responsibilities, I can say ‘yes’, given the fact that there are continuing admission programme being done for the professional group at the N.H.S. as well as the Ministry of Health as well as the W.H.O."
“But given the resources and the limitation associated with those resources to mobilize staff to move around staff to come to organize trainings we do have a challenge there but we try and do our best with what is available to us. So for organize training it is never enough, because it entails mobilising staff, we take staff out of their work areas and bring them into a central place,” she added.