Director Stands by Doctor Calling Shots at Airport

Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua is standing by a DOH doctor who is calling the shots at Pago Pago International Airport for the screening of arrivals, Dr. Monita Adip.

Airline employees, other DOH personnel, employees of other ASG departments at the airport and travelers who have had run ins with Dr. Adip shared with KHJ News that she is disrespectful, rude and has no people skills,.

They have questioned why the Health Director has turned deaf ears to the many complaints about the doctor.

A recent incident involved a man and his children who had gone to Samoa on the repatriation flights to accompany the body of their wife and mother. The man received an OK Board from the Governor’s Office to return to the territory after the funeral n Samoa.

But when they arrived here, Dr. Adip ruled that the man and his children should be returned.

KHJ News was informed that the return flight was delayed more than an hour while local authorities waited for Dr Adip to give the clearance for it to leave. She refused to sign off on the clearance for the plane to leave for Samoa unless the man and his children left on it.

An attorney from the AG’s Office was eventually dispatched to the airport to sign the clearance and allow the man and his children to enter.

KHJ News was told of a similar situation where the DOH doctor took a completely different tack.

A man traveling from the territory to the United States for a funeral flew to Apia on a repatriation flight to catch a flight to New Zealand.

However upon arrival at Faleolo he learned that the timing of his connecting flight to Auckland would require that he go into quarantine for 14 days before he could be allowed to fly to California. This meant he would miss the funeral.

He requested and was granted an OK board to fly back to the territory.

KHJ News was told that Dr. Adip did not have any problem clearing the traveler to enter upon arrival at Tafuna, unlike her refusal in the case of the man and his children.

Asked for comments about the complaints regarding Dr. Adip, Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua said no one else is able to do the difficult and unpopular job that the doctor is doing screening arrivals at the airport.

He said he has confidence in Dr Adip and has no plans to remove her from the airport.

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