Issue No. 12/2020 – Monday, 21 December 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)
Minister of Health, Social Welfare and Gender Justice, Hon Isaia Taape was the first Member of Parliament to contribute to the debate of the 2021 Budget. He firstly supported the formulation and the development of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, “Te Kete” saying it was well produced. He also supported the timeframe of the Plan of 10 years (2021 – 2030).
Hon Taape thanked Parliament for approving funds for the protection of Tuvalu from the COVID-19 virus to ensure that Tuvalu remains a free-virus country. “Tuvalu is one of the five remaining countries in the world that has not been infected by the virus,” said the Minister.
“The required machines and equipment for the Main Hospital have arrived but there are also new machines that are yet to arrive, that without the approvall of funds, we would not be able to procure these facilities,” said Hon Taape.
“Tuvalu is ready and well prepared to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 virus,” said Hon Taape.
Hon Taape commended government for the lockdown until such time we receive the vaccine for the virus. He said “tests are being undertaken on the newly developed vaccine and we expect to receive this vaccine sometimes in March-May 2021.
The Ministry of Health works under the advice and instructions from the World Health Organization.
Tuvalu patients of the medical scheme are now referred to New Zealand
Most of Tuvalu patients on the referral scheme used to be sent to New Zealand before the Coronavirus pandemic and because of the situation of the spread in India, Government has made new arrangement to have our patients referred to Fiji and New Zealand.
Minsiter of Health, Social Services and Gender Affairs, Hon Itaia Taape has cnfirmed ti Parliament that the New Zealand Government has agreed to utilizeits assistance to the Tuvalu Medical Scheme to the care of Tuvalu patients referred to New Zealand.
Hon Taape also said once all the rest of the required macchines arrive next month, most cases can be treated here in Tuvalu.
Ministry of Health to offer new health services
“The Ministry of Health will offer new reforms and restructuring in the health services in 202i in an effort to improve the health of Tuvalu people,” said the Minisiter of Health, Social Services and Gender Affairs, Hon Isaia Taape. The Minister was speaking in Parliament in his contribution in support of the 2021 Budget.
He said, “in the capital 2 clinic have been established and in operaion and one more clinic will soon be established making a total o 3 clinics on the capital.
The clinincs will be managed by communities and a 5-member Board will be appointed from the individual community together with stationed nurses to manage the clinincs and they will have to report to headquarter. The Board will work together with the community to ensure that no one is left behind and all to benefit from the health services. This new reform aims to reduce the impacts of Non-Communicable Diseases on people.
Thee 2012 Budget allocates $1.1 million under the Ministry of Finance for any COVID-19 related expenditure.
Ministry of Social Welfare continues to support the social benefits scheme
In support of the 2021 Budget, the Minister of Health, Social Welfare and Gender Affairs, Hon Isaia Taaape said Government would continue to support the social benefits scheme. He knows there are new beneficiaries to the scheme and he is sure that some people that should have been included in the scheme have been missed out.
Hon Taape is requesting communities to please let the Social Welfare Office know these people especially the handicapped or the disablities who are qualified under the scheme and to receive this benefit. He also thanked all Falekaupule and families for caring for the elders and the disabled in their communities.