Mangaia’s medical storm

Wednesday March 08, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

A “perfect storm” refers to a rare combination of events leading to a tragedy.

Mangaia took another step towards possible tragedy with the loss of all internet access from Saturday 4 March to date. Readers will recall the Health Secretary’s assurances that Mangaia did not need a doctor as a Nurse Practioner could take care of emergencies with: Firstly diagnosis via a surgeon in Rarotonga - including Skype consultations and submission of photos and data via internet. Secondly the patient would then be stabilised using drugs prescribed by the surgeon in Rarotonga while thirdly a medical evacuation was arranged. The Secretary has already placed step 2 in doubt  noting “pharmaceutical stock continues to be one of those challenges we seem to continue to have”. Step one has now struck out – with the internet unavailable for four days and counting.   That’s two out of three steps towards a perfect storm and an unnecessary medical tragedy.


The High Court decision for the Parliamentary lock down and the RAPPA seat is far from over. What the court says about the decisions made by the Speaker is highly questionable as she has no discretion over what the law prescribes in the legislation. The actions of the Clerk of Parliament  are also brought into question, as he was acting outside his jurisdiction. What the court is saying is that parliamentary reform is urgently needed to avoid any future decisions such as what occurred in parliament. Is there the political will and commitment by the prime minister to carry out the priority reforms to an outdated and broken electoral and parliamentary system? With a hung parliament, more overseas travel and avoiding these pressing issues is not the solution.



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