Cabinet has ordered the Public Service Commission to investigate the Ministry of Health in the “delay of the procurement of the [$3.7 million tala computerized tomography] scanner”
This was confirmed by the Public Service Commissioner, Lauano Vaosa Epa in response to questions from Radio Polynesia.
The Taupua Tamasese Meaole hospital’s CT scanner has been out of commission since last year and the previous administration approved the purchase of the scanner.
“Upon receiving directives from the Cabinet, I can confirm that PSC is currently conducting an investigation into the delay of the procurement of the Scanner,” said Lauano.
“The investigation is ongoing though it is presently delayed due to the current situation of the COVID 19 and the need for Ministry of Health to re-assign and commit most of their available staff to assist as and where necessary.”
Last month, Minister of Health, Valasi Tafito Selesele confirmed the computerized tomography or CT scan has arrived, but the hospital is waiting for “special technicians” from overseas to arrive in the Country; to assemble and install the machine before it can be used.
The Minister said the hospital is working with the Accidental Compensation Corporation to build a secure building to store the new CT scan, which was paid for by the Accidental Compensation Corporation and thanked them for their contribution to the health care of the Samoan people.
In January, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo that oversees the Accidental Compensation Corporation that purchased the scan, confirmed the cost of the CT scan is $3.7 million tala which was purchased from Shanghai China.
A vital tool for the hospital, a CT scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body.
CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays and it’s a diagnostic imaging procedure to guide further tests and treatments.
The hospital has been operating without a CT scan since last year; Samoan patients were flown to New Zealand and American Samoa for a scan. According to Minister Leatinu’u, when their Administration took over, the previous Cabinet approved the purchase of the CT scan by the Accidental Compensation Corporation.
The ACC will also purchase the necessary parts to repair the CT scan which is under commission as a spare.