National Health Service Act 2014

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202014/National-Health-Service-Act-2014-Eng.pdf

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rangement of Provisions

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and
commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Application and purpose

PART II
NATIONAL HEALTH
SERVICE AND ITS BOARD

4. Continuation of the Service
5. Functions and powers
6. Board of Directors of the
Service
7. Terms, vacancies and
removal
8. Chairperson and meetings
of the Board
9. Minutes and remuneration
10. Disclosure of conflict of
interest
11. Ministerial directions

PART III
MANAGEMENT AND
FINANCE
12. General Manager and staff
13. Management of healthcare
services
14. Delegations
15. Personal health
information
16. Funds of the Service
17. Accounts and audit
18. Powers of the Auditor

PART IV
MISCELLANEOUS

19. Fees and charges
20. Evidence by certificate
21. Validity of acts
22. Protection from liability
23. Guidelines
24. Amendment of the
Schedule
25. Regulations
26. Operational arrangements
with the Ministry
27. Repeal and transitional
28. Consequential amendment

Schedule



___________


2 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
2014, No. 16

AN ACT to continue the National Health Service
established under the repealed National Health
Service Act 2006, and to provide for its functions,
duties, powers, management and finances and for
related purposes. [1st May 2014]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa
in Parliament assembled as follows:

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be
cited as the National Health Service Act 2014.
(2) This Act commences on a date nominated by the
Minister.

2. Interpretation - In this Act, unless the context
otherwise requires:
“allied health professional” means any allied health
professional regulated and registered under any Act;
“Board” means the Board of Directors of the Service
established by section 6;
“Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Board;
“director” means a director of the Board appointed under
section 6(2);
“Director-General of Health” means the Chief Executive
Officer of the Ministry;
“General Manager” means the person appointed as such
under section 12;
“Government” means the Government of Samoa;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Health;
“Minister’s direction” means a direction issued under
section 11(1);
“Ministry” means the Ministry of Health established
under the Ministry of Health Act 2006 and the
Ministerial and Departmental Arrangements Act
2003;


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 3
“Service” means the National Health Service continued
under section 4;
“staff” means officers and employees of the Service, and
includes persons engaged under section 12(5).

3. Application and purpose-(1) This Act binds the
Government.
(2) The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the
Government meets the healthcare needs of Samoa through
the development, provision and management of the
healthcare services, institutions and bodies listed in the
Schedule.

PART II
NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE AND ITS BOARD

4. Continuation of the Service-(1) The National Health
Service established under the repealed National Health
Service Act 2006 continues and is established under this Act
as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a
common seal, and with the following powers:
(a) to sue and be sued;
(b) to enter into contracts;
(c) to acquire, hold and dispose of property both real
and personal;
(d) to carry out any other matter that a legal person
may do in law.
(2) The powers of the Service or decisions of the Board
are not affected by any vacancy in the Board or any
irregularity in the appointment of a director.
(3) The common seal of the Service must:
(a) be affixed, by resolution of the Board, in the
presence of the Chairperson or the General
Manager and one (1) other director, and
signed by them; and
(b) be judicially noticed; and
(c) be presumed that the seal was properly affixed,
unless the contrary is proved.
(4) A document to which the Service is a party (other
than a document required by law to be under common seal)
may be signed by:
(a) the Chairperson; or
(b) the General Manager; or


4 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
(c) an officer of the Service authorised by resolution
of the Board.
5. Functions and powers-(1) The Service has the
following functions:
(a) to be responsible for policy and general
governance of the Service;
(b) to provide, maintain and manage all healthcare
services, institutions and bodies listed in the
Schedule;
(c) to provide a report, information or advice relating
this Act, Ministry of Health Act 2006 or any
other Act whenever required by the Director
General of Health, as specified by regulations
or authorised by an enactment;
(d) to provide a report, information or advice relating
this Act, Ministry of Health Act 2006 or any
other Act whenever required by the Minister;
(e) to cooperate with, assist and support the
Government, Minister, Ministry, other
ministries, statutory bodies, government
agencies and other persons in understanding
their functions and duties under this Act, the
Ministry of Health Act 2006 and any other
Act;
(f) to comply with Minister’s directions;
(g) to carry out any other functions or duties of the
Service under this Act, the Ministry of Health
Act 2006 or any other Act.
(2) Subject to this Act, the Service, the Board and the
General Manager have powers necessary for or incidental to
carrying out the purpose and functions of the Service, and
may do all acts as are necessary, advantageous and
convenient for or in connection with the carrying out of the
purpose and functions of the Service.
(3) The Service may, with the approval of the Board,
carry out any activity under this section either alone or
through or in association with any other person.
6. Board of Directors of the Service-(1) Subject to this
section, the Board consists of the following directors:
(a) one (1) registered medical practitioner and is a
registered member of the Samoa Medical
Association;


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 5
(b) one (1) registered dental practitioner;
(c) one (1) registered pharmacist;
(d) one (1) registered nurse and is a registered
member of the Samoa Nurses Association;
(e) one (1) registered allied health professional;
(f) two (2) persons with experience in management
and finance;
(g) two (2) community representatives.
(2) The Head of State may appoint directors, acting on
the advice of Cabinet.
(3) Before advising the Head of State to appoint
directors under subsection (1)(a) to (e), the Cabinet may
invite:
(a) any eligible person to apply to Cabinet for
appointment; or
(b) any professional association relating to those
professions to nominate in writing to Cabinet
any of its members qualified for appointment
as a director.
(4) A person employed or engaged by the Service is not
eligible for appointment as a director.
(5) When providing advice under subsection (2), Cabinet
must take the following matters into account:
(a) the need of the Service and the Board to have
directors with qualifications, experience and
expertise in the areas of healthcare,
management, financial management and any
other qualifications, experience and expertise
appropriate to the Service’s purpose and
functions;
(b) the desirability of gender equality.
(6) The appointment under subsection (1)(e) is to be
rotated between different categories of allied health
professionals.
(7) A director whose appointment under subsection
(1)(e) has expired must not be re-appointed on that occasion
to continue as a director.
(8) In this section, “registered” means registered under
an enactment.

7. Terms, vacancies and removal-(1) Subject to this
section, a director may be appointed for three (3) years and,
subject to section 6(7), is eligible for re-appointment.


6 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
(2) A director shall not be re-appointed after having
served for two (2) consecutive terms.
(3) The Cabinet may remove a director on any of the
following grounds:
(a) inability to perform the director’s functions and
duties due to a physical or mental incapacity;
(b) inefficiency;
(c) bankruptcy;
(d) neglect of duty;
(e) misconduct in office or elsewhere affecting or
likely to affect the operations or reputation of
the Service or the Board;
(f) failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of
the Board without an apology being received
and accepted by the Chairperson of the
Board, and in the case of the Chairperson an
apology being received and accepted by the
Board;
(g) failure, without reasonable excuse and within a
reasonable time, to comply with Minister’s
direction;
(h) failure to disclose or to take all reasonable steps
to avoid any real or apparent conflict of
interest in relation to his or her membership
of the Board;
(i) use of information belonging to or under the
control of the Service or Board other than for
the Service’s purpose or functions;
(j) failure to act with integrity as a director;
(k) misuse of status or authority as a director to seek
or obtain a benefit for him or her or any other
person;
(l) conviction in Samoa or elsewhere of an offence
punishable by death or imprisonment for a
term of two (2) years or more;
(m) conviction of an offence relating to director’s
duties;
(n) departure from Samoa permanently.
(4) The office of a director becomes vacant on the
resignation, removal or death of the director.
(5) A director whose appointment has expired continues
in office until re-appointed (subject to section 6(7)) or a
successor is appointed.


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 7
8. Chairperson and meetings of the Board-(1) The
Cabinet must appoint from amongst the directors a
Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson of the Board.
(2) The Chairperson must:
(a) convene meetings of the Board; and
(b) convene a meeting if at least two (2) directors
have made a written request to the General
Manager.
(3) The Board must meet at least 10 times in a financial
year.
(4) At a meeting of the Board:
(a) the Chairperson, or if absent, the Deputy
Chairperson, or if both are absent, a director
elected by the directors present, is to preside
(“chair”); and
(b) the quorum is five (5) directors; and
(c) a question is to be determined by a majority of
directors present; and
(d) the chair has a deliberative vote and a casting
vote.
(5) The Board may invite any person (including a
member of an allied health profession which is not
represented on the Board) to attend and participate in the
Board’s deliberations, but the person has no right to vote on
any matter before it.
(6) The General Manager must attend and participate in
the deliberations of any Board meeting (but has no voting
rights) unless the Board requires the General Manager to be
absent from a meeting:
(a) to perform a designated task on behalf of the
Service; or
(b) whilst the Board considers any matter concerning
the General Manager’s performance in office.
(7) The General Manager must appoint an officer of the
Service (other than a director) to act as secretary of the
Board, but the secretary:
(a) may participate in a matter before the Board if
authorised by the Board; and
(b) has no right to vote on any deliberation of the
Board.
(8) The Board may regulate its own procedures, subject
to this Act.


8 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
9. Minutes and remuneration-(1) The Secretary must
keep minutes of all resolutions passed at any meeting of the
Board.
(2) The minutes of a meeting must be approved by the
Board at its next meeting and signed by the chair of that next
meeting.
(3) A copy of the minutes of each meeting must be
provided to all directors.
(4) The directors are entitled to fees and allowances
determined by Cabinet.

10. Disclosure of conflict of interest-(1) A director who
has any direct or indirect interests in any matter relating to
the Service or before the Board must disclose the interest to
the Board.
(2) The Secretary must record any interest disclosed in
the minutes of the meeting, and the director must not take
part after the disclosure in any deliberations or decisions
relating to such matter, without affecting the quorum for that
meeting.
(3) A director who, knowingly, makes or takes part or
attempts to take part, in the making of a decision where the
director has a direct or indirect interest which conflicts with
the interests of the Service, commits an offence and is liable
upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units.
(4) A director convicted under this section is taken from
the date of conviction to have vacated his or her office as a
director of the Board and of the Board of any other public
body.

11. Ministerial directions-(1) Following consultation
by the Minister with the Board and the Director-General of
Health, the Minister may, with the approval of Cabinet,
issue the following written general directions to the Service
and the Board:
(a) government policy, objectives, priorities and
requirements as to the development,
provision and management of the healthcare
services, institutions and bodies listed in the
Schedule;


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 9
(b) requirements as to the Service, Board, General
Manager and staff and contractors of the
Service cooperating with, assisting and
supporting the Government, Minister, the
Ministry, other ministries, statutory bodies,
government agencies and persons in
undertaking their functions and duties under
this Act, the Ministry of Health Act 2006 and
any other law.
(2) The Minister’s direction does not include the
following:
(a) the appointment, promotion, suspension,
demotion, transfer, discipline or dismissal of
any staff of the Service;
(b) the engagement of or dealings with any
contractor engaged by or on behalf of the
Service.
(3) The Service and the Board must comply with the
Minister’s direction.
(4) If the Service and the Board, without reasonable
excuse, fails or refuses within a reasonable time to comply
with a Minister’s direction, the Minister may, after advising
the Board, give written directive to the General Manager to
comply with the Minister’s direction.
(5) The General Manager must forthwith comply with
the Minister’s directions.
(6) If the General Manager fails, without reasonable
excuse, to comply within a reasonable time with the
Minister’s directions as directed under subsection (4), the
failure is treated a serious misconduct by the General
Manager under his or her contract of employment.

PART III
MANAGEMENT AND FINANCE

12. General Manager and staff-(1) The Service must
have a General Manager who:
(a) is to be the administrative head of the Service; and
(b) is responsible and accountable to the Board for the
day-to-day management, control and
direction of the Service and the staff and any
consultant or person engaged under
subsection (5); and


10 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
(c) is responsible for carrying out the functions, duties
and powers of the Service, without affecting
those given to the Board.
(2) The Head of State may, acting on the advice of
Cabinet, appoint a suitably qualified person as General
Manager, subject to terms and conditions approved by
Cabinet.
(3) The General Manager:
(a) may be appointed for up to three (3) years; and
(b) is entitled to remuneration, other allowances and
expenses approved by Cabinet, and payable
out of the funds of the Service; and
(c) is eligible for reappointment.
(4) The Cabinet may suspend or remove the General
Manager, if the General Manager fails to comply with any of
the following:
(a) the terms and conditions of appointment or
employment contract;
(b) his or her functions and duties under this Act;
(c) any Minister’s or Board’s direction given to the
General Manager.
(5) The General Manager may:
(a) with the approval of the Board, appoint and
employ officers, consultants and advisors of
the Service; and
(b) appoint and employ other employees of the
Service,
at such remuneration and on terms and conditions, as the
General Manager determines are necessary for the purpose
of this Act.
(6) In this section:
“appoint” includes to confirm, promote, demote,
transfer, discipline, suspend, or dismiss an officer or
employee or to vary terms of appointment or
employment contract;
“officers” means contracted officers, and includes
persons holding substantive senior positions other
than those holding substantive positions as other
employees.


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 11
13. Management of healthcare services-(1) Subject to
this Act, the Board may determine:
(a) the structure, management and operational
arrangements of the healthcare services,
institutions and bodies listed in the Schedule;
and
(b) the relationship between the healthcare services,
institutions and bodies listed in the Schedule
and any other ministry, statutory body,
government agency, private sector body,
community sector body, or organisation,
so as to perform the functions, duties and powers of the
Service under this Act or any other Act.
(2) When exercising powers under this section, the
Board must take into account any views provided by the
Director-General of Health.

14. Delegations-(1) The Board or the General Manager
may delegate (“delegation”) in writing to a person the
Board’s or General Manager’s functions, duties or powers
under this Act, other than the power under this section.
(2) The Board or the General Manager may:
(a) make the delegation subject to conditions; and
(b) vary, suspend or revoke the delegation; and
(c) carry out the functions, duties or powers despite
the delegation.

15. Personal health information-(1) The Service shall
ensure that any personal health information of a person in its
possession or control is not used by or disclosed to another
person except with the consent of the person.
(2) In this section, “personal health information” means
confidential information identifying a person about any of
the following:
(a) physical or mental health of the person, including
information about the medical history of the
person’s family;
(b) any health service provided to the person;
(c) any other prescribed health or personal
information about the person.


12 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to disclosure of
personal health information to any of the following:
(a) to a staff member of the Service when providing
health services to the person;
(b) a person under an order of a court;
(c) to a police officer or other enforcement agency in
relation to an offence;
(d) to a person as required by an Act or other law.
(4) Regulations may be made under section 25 to
provide for any other matter for the purposes of this section.
(5) A person who discloses personal health information
without the consent of the person commits an offence and is
liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.
16. Funds of the Service - The funds of the Service
comprise:
(a) any money for the purposes of the Service
appropriated by Parliament; and
(b) any money payable, donated, given or
contributed to the Service; and
(c) any money received by the Service by way of
fees or charges for carrying out its functions;
and
(d) any other money belonging to the Service.

17. Accounts and audit-(1) In this Part:
“Auditor” means the Controller and Chief Auditor, and
includes an auditor authorised under section 18(1);
“Auditor’s report” means a report prepared under
subsection (3).
(2) The Service must:
(a) keep full and proper accounts and other records
of its operations at all times; and
(b) prepare financial statements as are necessary to
fully and accurately show the financial
position of the Service and the financial
results of its operations during that year, as
soon as reasonably practicable after the end
of each financial year; and
(c) prepare reports on its operations in a financial
year.
(3) The Auditor must audit the accounts of the Service
each year and prepare an Auditor’s report on it.


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 13
(4) The Service must submit to the Minister, within four
(4) months after the end of each financial year:
(a) its annual report, including a copy of its audited
Accounts, for that year; and
(b) the Auditor’s report.
(5) The Minister must deliver the reports received by
him under subsection (4) to the Legislative Assembly
forthwith if it is in sitting, and if not, at the commencement
of the next ensuing sitting.
(6) Without limiting the Public Finance Management
Act 2001, the General Manager and the chief financial
officer of the Service must sign all accounts kept or prepared
under this section, and must certify that:
(a) proper books of account have been maintained by
the Service; and
(b) the accounts accurately reflect the financial
affairs of the Service, and the accounts
maintained by the Service; and
(c) adequate procedures of internal control have been
applied by the management of the Service.
(7) The Chairperson and one other director must sign the
annual reports prepared under this section.

18. Powers of the Auditor-(1) Without limiting the
powers under the Audit Office Ordinance 1961, the Auditor
has the following powers:
(a) to have full and free access to all accounts,
papers, records and other documents relating
to the activities of the Service;
(b) to take copies of such materials, or to require
copies to be provided;
(c) to require and receive any information or
materials from any person, for the purpose of
carrying out the duties under section 17;
(d) to authorise in writing an auditor to carry out an
audit for the purpose of this Act.
(2) A person commits an offence if the person hinders or
obstructs the Auditor when carrying out any Auditor’s duty
or power under this Act, and on conviction is liable to a fine
not exceeding 50 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term
not exceeding three (3) months, or both.


14 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
PART IV
MISCELLANEOUS

19. Fees and charges-(1) Subject to Part VI of the
Public Finance Management Act 2001 and section 19 of the
Ministry of Health Act 2006, the Minister may, acting on the
advice of the Board and with the approval of Cabinet, by
notice:
(a) determine fees and charges for the purposes of
this Act; and
(b) provide for the time and manner of payment of
any fee or charge.
(2) The notice of fees and charges is to be published in
Samoan and English in the Savali and one other newspaper
circulating in Samoa.
(3) The fees and charges are non-refundable unless
approved by the Minister, acting on the advice of the Board
and with the approval of Cabinet.
(4) A refund of fees or charges under this Act may be
made without further appropriation than this section and is a
statutory expenditure payable out of the Treasury Fund.

20. Evidence by certificate-(1) The General Manager or
any officer of the Service authorised in writing by the
General Manager, may provide a certificate (“certificate”)
stating any matter known to the Service, or in any record or
register of the Service.
(2) The certificate:
(a) is admissible as evidence of the matters stated in
the certificate unless the contrary is proved;
and
(b) may be produced to a court or other person by a
staff on the Service.
(3) The court or other person may require the person
who signs the certificate or a staff to appear in person for the
purpose of examination.
(4) The Board may approve a fee to be paid on providing
the certificate.

21. Validity of acts - An action or decision of the
Minister, Board, General Manager, or a staff acting under
the authority of the Minister, the Board, or the General
Manager under this Act, is taken to be validly done or made


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 15
even if the appointment of the Minister, a director, the
General Manager or a staff has a defect, irregularity or error
or has expired.

22. Protection from liability-(1) This section applies to
the following persons:
(a) the Head of State;
(b) the Minister;
(c) a director;
(e) the Director-General;
(f) the General Manager;
(g) the staff of the Service;
(h) any other person authorised to carry out any
function, duty or power under this Act.
(2) A person listed in subsection (1) is not personally
liable for carrying out or failing to carry out in good faith a
function, duty or power under this Act.

23. Guidelines - Subject to this Act and for the purposes
of achieving the functions, duties and powers under this Act,
the Ministry of Health Act 2006 or any other Act, the Board
may, with the approval of the Minister, make guidelines
providing for the management and operation of healthcare
services and patients, including the following:
(a) the admission, discharge and treatment
arrangements for patients;
(b) the admission of visitors;
(c) the provision of quality control and consumer
complaint systems.

24. Amendment of the Schedule - The Minister may,
on the advice of the Board, and with the approval of
Cabinet, amend the Schedule by notice in the Savali.

25. Regulations - The Head of State may, acting on the
advice of Cabinet, make regulations to give effect to the
provisions or for the purposes of this Act, in particular to
make the following regulations:
(a) to regulate persons eligible to access health
services for the purposes of this Act;


16 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
(b) to provide for persons including non-residents
liable to or to be exempted from fees and
charges for health services provided by the
Service;
(c) to provide for the functions, duties or powers of
staff or persons contracted to carry out the
functions, duties and powers of the Service
under this Act or any other Act;
(d) to provide for the contents, forms and other
matters relating to any report, information or
advice required under this Act;
(e) any matters required to be prescribed under this
Act.

26. Operational arrangements with the Ministry - If
reference is made in this Act or other any Act to any of the
following:
(a) the former Department of Health;
(b) the Ministry;
(c) the Service;
(d) any healthcare service, institution or body listed
in the Schedule,
the Minister may, in consultation with the Board or the
Director-General of Health, designate in writing the
Ministry or the Service, or both, to exercise or not exercise
any function, duty or power under this Act or any other Act
or to provide or not to provide any service referred to in this
Act or any other Act.

27. Repeal and transitional-(1) The National Health
Service Act 2006 is repealed (“repealed Act”).
(2) At the commencement of this Act:
(a) regulations made under the repealed Act continue
until they are repealed or replaced by
regulations made under this Act; and
(b) the current members of the National Health
Service Board of Management, (other than
the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry),
appointed under the repealed Act continue as
if they were appointed directors of the Board
established under this Act until they are
replaced or re-appointed under this Act; and


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 17
(c) the current General Manager and staff of the
Service appointed and any other person
engaged under the repealed Act continue as if
they were appointed as such under this Act;
and
(d) all contracts or arrangements made by or on
behalf of the Service under the repealed Act
continue as if they were made under this Act;
and
(e) all assets and liabilities of the National Health
Service under the repealed Act are transferred
to and vested in the Service continued under
this Act as a body corporate;
(f) any regulation made under the Ministry of Health
Act 2006 in relation to matters referred to in
section 25(d) of this Act continues to apply to
the Service until regulations are made under
section 25(d) of this Act.
(3) The Head of State may, acting on the advice of
Cabinet, make regulations within two (2) years from the
commencement of this Act to deal with any other
transitional or saving matters.

28. Consequential amendment - For section 19 of the
Ministry of Health Act 2006, after subsection (3) insert:

“(4) Fees and charges determined under this section
do not apply to fees and charges for goods, services or
other matters provided by the National Health Service
under the National Health Service Act 2014.”.


18 National Health Service Act 2014 2014, No. 16
SCHEDULE
(Sections 3, 5, 11, 13 and 24)

LIST OF HEALTH SERVICES, INSTITUTIONS
AND BODIES FOR WHICH THE SERVICE
IS RESPONSIBLE

1. Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital
2. Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital
3. Lalomanu District Hospital
4. Poutasi District Hospital
5. Leulumoega District Hospital
6. Safotu District Hospital
7. Sataua District Hospital
8. Foailalo District Hospital
9. Lufilufi Community Health Centre
10. Saanapu Community Health Centre
11. Fusi Community Health Centre
12. Lefaga Community Health Centre
13. Afega Community Health Centre
14. Fagamalo Community Health Centre
15. Faleolo Community Health Centre
16. Laboratory Services
17. Oral Health Services
18. Pharmacy Services
19. Medical Imaging Services
20. Clinical Services
21. Nursing & Integrated Community Health Services
22. Clinical Audit


2014, No. 16 National Health Service Act 2014 19
23. Overseas Treatment Programme
Corporate Support Services for the National Health
Service: Human Resources, Finance, Audit,
Administration, Programs Management, Information
Systems

__________
The National Health Service Act 2014
is administered by the Ministry of Health.