PSC negotiates with bilateral partners for scholarships

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is currently negotiating with bilateral partners for scholarships in specialised postgraduate fields in the health sector to address priority specialised shortages.
Bilateral partners involved in these negotiations are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Chair of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Nonu Lemauga Saleimoa Vaai in an exclusive response to Savali, explained this will be for specialised postgraduate fields in the Health Sector – Pathologist, Eye Specialist, Respiratory Specialist, ENT Specialist, and Dental Hygienist to name a few.
According to Nonu for a long-term sustainable skill base, PSC is offering 10 undergraduate scholarships per year for Medicine at NUS Medical School.
These are awards offered annually under the Government scholarship scheme based on the National University of Samoa (NUS) Medical School entry criteria for an MBBS degree – a 6-year degree estimated at SAT$15k per year or SAT$90k in total – full scholarship.
Health’s Director-General Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma revealed to the Savali exclusively that the Ministry welcomes all the assistance from the PSC and development partners in developing their specialist workforce.
“We can significantly grow that workforce if we have a pool of young doctors to pull from. “We will have that pool of young doctors if we have more capable students, studying science, and eager to take up medicine as a career, coming through the education pipeline,” he added.
For the NUS scholarships, Aiono explained that all Samoan students enrolled at the NUS School of Medicine have been offered scholarships because the quota of 10 per year has not been met. “The reason being few students choose medicine as a career and the entry criteria is high with an average of not less than 80% from foundation year science. Other bright students choose other careers and those that will take them for scholarships overseas,” he says.
So MoH receives an average of eight doctors per year from NUS and the Oceania University of Medicine (OUM).
“We will need to have about 13 doctors a year for the next 10 years with maximum retention to address our workforce needs into the future.”
SOURCE: Govt Media