Niue Explores Tonga Medivac Option After New Zealand Cuts Funds

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Niue official assures government will cover emergency transport cost

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 20, 2012) – The Niue Health Department says it is in talks with Tonga about providing an alternative option to medivacs.

The Niue Health Department says there is about one medivac from Niue a year, at a cost of about 95,000 U.S. dollars per flight.

New Zealand has cut its funding for medivacs.

Niue’s director of Health, Manila Nosa, says people should not be worried about this because the Niue government has given its assurance that it will cover the cost of medivac assistance if needed.

Mr. Nosa says they have been in talks with Tonga’s Ministry of Health for more options.

"Those discussions focus around whether we can ask for a medical from that neighboring country to come here and give us assistance or we can ask for a flight to pick up a patient from here and get it over to that country to offer treatment over there."

Manila Nosa says Niue has a very good medical team and all will be done to take care of patients before these other options are explored.

He says the talks with Tonga are yet to be finalized.

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