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Samoa P.M. flies to New Zealand for treatment

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi flew out of the country over the weekend for medical treatment in New Zealand.Dr. Ailao Imo confirmed that the Prime Minister is being sent to New Zealand but cannot give any more details because he is bound by “doctor patient confidentiality.”He has given his report to the National Health Service General Manager Leota Lamositele Laki Sio, but Leota could not be contacted for comment.Transferral of Tuilaepa to New Zealand comes after earlier assurances that there Tuilaepa was doing “very well” and would be back at work after a night in the country’s Intensive Care Unit.Last week, sources told news media that Tuilaepa had stood on a nail while looking at renovations at a house of a family member.On Saturday, another family member said that Tuilaepa was okay, but that his wife had told him to stay in hospital and get some rest.Tuilaepa’s health first came to the attention of the public last Wedneday when he was in Parliament night and asked for a sheet, and a tshirt, to cover himself from the cold. Soon afterwards, he was assisted from Parliament and taken to hospital, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.Government officials stayed silent about Tuilaepa’s condition until Friday, when The Chief Executive Officer of the Prime Minister's Office, Vaosa Epa, said that Tuilaepa's condition was “never” lifethreatening. She expected him to be back at work this week.Ms. Epa told Radio New Zealand International that the Prime Minister ‘just needs rest’, after an extremely busy week in Parliament.Government officials did not return calls to local media seeking comment on Tuilaepa.This followed claims from ministers in Parliament denying Tuilaepa had any health problems and was away from the House on “short visits”.